Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Lemon Pickle

One of the Spice Nite attendees at Passage to India on Oct 7th had requested for the recipe of the Lemon Pickle that we make in the restaurant. It is one of my Mom's recipes and she used to make it without the oil but the salt quantity used to be twice. After two years the lemons would turn a dark brown and it was given to us as a digestive medication also. I still have almost a half pound of it that she brought for me in 1998 on her visit to US. It is a very dark and dry thing with the salt crystallized on top. Most of the Indian traditional recipes are all about a balance between the net effect of the food which is usually mentioned as either heat or cool causing. The Black Salt and Ajwain are a part of the digestive powder called CHURAN which is available in different forms, sometimes as a coating over dried fruits like Dates, Figs, Apples, Amla (Gooseberry) etc. Enough of that, on with the recipe:

Lemons (cut into 12 pieces and squeezed) 2 pounds
Oil (sesame or soybean- heat and allow to cool) 1 cup
Ajwain (Carom) seeds powdered 4 ounces
Cloves powdered 1 teaspoon
Peppercorns powdered 1 teaspoon
Black salt powder 2 teaspoons
Salt 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder 1/2 teaspoon

Mix all the ingredients and put them in a glass bottle with a tight fitting lid. Press down so that the top is covered with oil. Cover tightly and leave in the sun for 4-5 days. Open, mix well and press down so that the oil comes to the surface. Leave in sun light for another two days. The pickle will be ready in another 5-7 days. Keep in the frige where it should last for a couple of years. ALWAYS use a dry and clean spoon to take out any pickles.

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