Saturday, February 7, 2009

Lime or Lemon Pickle

I remember buying jars of this at my local Arab grocery store. I can not remember the brand, but I loved it. I spoke to the owner once and she asked why didn't I make my own. Who knows, that was atleast 10 years ago. And why know. She said that you layer lemons and limes in a jar with salt and cheyenne pepper.... and maybe some olive oil. It was a while ago, so there could have been other things too.

I found this and it looks good.
But for me it is an all day thing with toasting the spices and then making it. I would also like a cannable recipe, so I can make a lot and open a new jar as needed. In my google search, I heard this is great with sweet peanut butter on bread. I usually ate this on bread or with some rice. I also spread this one bread dough then rolled it up for pinwheel bread.

Lemon/Lime Pickle
3 cup lemon/lime pieces
1/2 cup salt
3/4 cup chili powder
1 t turmeric powder
2 t mustard seeds
1/2 t garlic
1/2 t fenugreek seeds
2 tea spns oil
1 T chopped green chilies
1 T ginger pieces

Cut the lemons or limes in 1/4" slices and half or quarter.
Heat 1 tea spn oil and fry mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, garlic on a medium heat. Take care not to burn any of these. (mustard turns really bitter when it gets burnt, so be careful) . Take off heat and add turmeric powder. When it is cooled to room temperature, grind it to a smooth powder.

Store this in an airtight container. Leave it as it is for about 2 weeks. Then open the container and see if the pickle is fine. Then close the lid again and leave it for about 45 days. As the pickle gets ready, the lemon pieces get softer. This time largely depends on the kind of lemon/lime used.
To speed up the pickling time, some people boil the pieces and make the pickle. By boiling them, pickle gets ready within 4-5 days, but it does not usually have very long shelf life. Also, the Vitamin-C content in the lemon/lime gets lost. I personally prefer this slow pickling process where the pieces are not boiled.- While making the pickle, make sure all the vessels, spoons, grinder/mixer are very dry. Even a small drop of water makes this pickle spoil soon. Even while serving the pickle, make sure the spoon you put in this container is very dry. Better yet, transfer small quantity in a smaller container which can be used to serve.- As I mentioned earlier, the spices should NOT get burnt while frying. While making my last batch, I accidentally burnt some of the spices and the pickle became very bitter and I had hard time to finish it off.- Any pickle should taste salty when it is prepared. The salt gets absorbed by the pieces as time passes. If it tastes just perfect when the pickle is prepared, it gets spoiled soon.- Use limes or lemons that has lots of juice.

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