This is the first pickle recipe in my blog, actually this is the first pickle i made ever. But i soo enjoyed making it and eating it, that i cant wait to try out many more pickle recipes. I have always been afraid to make any sort of Indian pickle. There is too much labor involved. No instant gratification as they take months to pickle. I usually get them made by my aunt, who makes the most amazing pickles. Or else i get it easily from stores, there is an entire aisle in the Indian store dedicated to all kinds of pickles.
But i am glad that i made this at home because this pickle turned out to be really good. Whether you bite into the citrus lemon or the lusciously soft and sweet date, each is a treasure in spicy vinegary syrup. And moreover it was not as difficult to make as i thought it would be. So please do go ahead and give it a try. Im sure you will like it.
Recipe courtesy: Maya Akhil of yummyoyummy.com
1. Large lemon – 4 (If you are using small lemon / lime, use 8 – 10)
Sugar – 1.5 tsp
Salt – To taste
2. Gingelly oil / nallenna – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Dry red chilies – 2 – 3
Ginger – 1/2 inch, thinly sliced
Garlic – 10 cloves, sliced or halved if large
Green chilies – 3 – 4, slit (optional)
3. Dates – 20, finely chopped
4. Kashmiri chilly powder – 2 – 2.5 tbsp
Fenugreek powder – 1/4 tsp
Asafetida / hing – 2 pinches
Sugar – 1 tsp
5. Hot water – 1/2 cup
Vinegar – 2 tbsp
6. Salt – To taste
1. Heat 1 tbsp gingelly oil in a pan. Add the lemons and stir until their skin becomes soft, turning them on all sides. It takes about 5 – 8 minutes. (Alternatively, you can steam the lemons for 8 – 10 minutes until they turn soft). Cool them completely. Cut into 8 pieces. Transfer into a glass jar or a bowl. Add enough salt and 1.5 tsp sugar to the lemon pieces. Mix well and set aside for 1 – 2 days or a minimum of 2 hours.
2. Heat 2 tbsp gingelly oil in a deep pan. Splutter mustard seeds and fry dry red chilies. Add sliced ginger, garlic and green chilies. Fry until lightly golden. Next add chopped dates. Cook until soft, about 3 minutes. (Add 1 more tbsp gingelly oil, if required). Bring down the heat to low. Add chilly powder, fenugreek powder, hing and 1 tsp sugar. Saute for a minute. Next add hot water, salt and vinegar. Boil for 2 minutes until thick. Switch off. Set aside to cool. Add the lemon pieces. Combine well. Check for salt. Cool down and transfer to an airtight jar.
3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a small pan. Cool completely. Pour the cooled oil on top of the pickle. You can have it after 2 – 3 days but it tastes best after 2 – 3 months. Keep refrigerated in order to increase its shelf-life.