Elle & I are regular readers of Mahanandi & Saffrontrail, and couldn’t resist participating in this month’s JFI event. Being newbies to the blogging world, we were a little skeptical about participating in such an event right off-the-bat. But what with the ingredient being chillies, there was no way we were going to miss this event. After racking our brains on what to prepare, Elle suggested that I make Lemon Pickle and I couldn’t think of a more fitting entry.
I am an avid pickle-eater and curd rice & pickle (Avakkai preferably) is my comfort food. It is pretty recently that I started preparing pickles. I always thought it was a very laborious process and never had the guts to attempt making one. Last year, one of my friends gave me a about 2 dozen lemons and how much lemonade (or ginger lemonade) can one drink? So, I decided to try my hand at pickle-making and to my surprise, found it to be a relatively easy process and the end product was well worth it.
Gaining courage at every step, I have tried different pickles after that – maangai thokku (the quintessential raw mango pickle), and different varieties of lemon pickle, including this and this. I was not blogging then and never took any pictures – how I regret that now! This time around I was not going to let the opportunity pass by, atleast not without making an entry for the JFI: Chillies and a picture 🙂
2 tsp Chilli powder (reduce it to 1 tsp if you are heat-phobic)
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp mustard, coarsely ground (you can use a mortar & pestle)
1 tsp Asafoetida
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sesame oil
Wash lemons thoroughly and dry them well, so that there is no moisture on the lemons. Cut lemon into small pieces (roughly 16 pieces per lemon). Put them in a glass or porcelain jar. Add salt to the cut lemons and mix them thoroughly. To this, add the chilli and turmeric powders. Heat oil in a pan, add the ground mustard and asafoetida. Once the mustard seeds are roasted (you can tell this by the flavor), add it to the lemon mixture. Let it sit for about 5 days, preferably in a sunny spot. The longer you let them sit, the softer the peel would be.
The salted lemon pieces refrigerate well and can be stored up to 6 months. So, if you have an abundance of lemon, you can salt them and store them in your refrigerator. Pull them out whenever you are in the mood for some fresh pickles. Who said we can’t have fresh pickles in winter?