Hello everyone! Here i am back to my writing :) Yes, my last post was almost 15 days back and i have been feeling guilty about it for quite a while, but giving it a thought, all bloggers have gone through this phase, isn't it? Where we wanted to write but couldn't find time, got busy with something else, some other commitment or priority took our interest or sometimes just too lazy to pen down things! I have seen some dedicated blogger friends who post almost everyday and salute to them. But for me, blogging is all about "me-time", about finding peace, about getting relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated! Yes, that's exactly what this blog means to me. I don't want to get into a compulsive mode that i have to write posts! This is no competition, no race, no ego but just my space :)) And thank you to each one of you who read it regularly and appreciate my efforts.
So, in my post of The chaat trail in Old Delhi, I had mentioned about my mother-in-law teaching me some "Dadi ke nuske" :)) This easy pickle is one i learnt from her. A friend once told me that in old days, all the elder ladies of the home (those days, there were joint families) would get furious if the young bahus (daughter-in-law's) of the home made a good pickle or chutney. And why??? Because that was their "department"... Haha, yes! "Elders only department" wherein the expertise would only be centered to the dadi's and nani's (Grannies) or sasu-maa's (Mother-in-law's). Hence, we know a lot of recipes are lost. Some are carried forward with daughters trying it out seeing their mothers do it, but a lot of them are lost due to the ego's of humans :(
Well, so before some more recipes are lost in history, it's best to pen them down in a blog for generations ahead to remember :) I always thought making pickle was tedious and tough. But i learnt that it's all about the basics:
1. Using vinegar/salt/sugar/lemon juice or oil is the best form to preserve a pickle.
2. Always use a clean sterlized and dry bottle to store the pickle.
3. Pickle stays best in glass or ceramic containers.
4. No drop of water should touch the pickle whatsoever, so while taking out the pickle, always make sure the spoon is dry.
5. The most important - a pickle tastes best when you add the ingredients on your judgement and not by measuring cups :))
The last point we will learn with time, but for the time being, all we got to know if use good quality ingredients with the basics of red chilli powder, salt, turmeric, and oil and your pickle is ready! Unless you are making a specialty pickle or a sweet pickle like this one :
While choosing lemons, take ones which have a thinner skin. If you buy thick skinned lemons, then blanch the whole lemons, pat them dry and then use.
Lemons - 1/2 kg
Salt - to taste ( about 1/4 cup )
Turmeric powder - 1 tbsp
Sugar - 1/2 kg
Red chilli powder - 1-2 tbsp
Cumin powder (jeera) - 1 tsp
Wash the lemons and pat them dry or keep in sun for about an hour or so. Now cut each lemon in about 8 pieces equally. Remove seeds.
Add salt, cumin powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder to the lemons and cover and keep overnight. ( You can keep this for more number of days but since my mother-in-law was here only for a week, we kept it overnight. Keeping for more number of days would surely enhance the taste, but this, my friends, is as yummy as it looks )
Add about a cup of water to sugar and make a one-string consistency sugar syrup.
When the syrup cools down, add the marinated lemons to it and mix well.
Fill the pickle in a dry clean sterlized glass container and close the lid tight.
The pickle tastes best when eaten after a week or so, but the real taste comes after about 3-4 months. These pictures seen here are for 2 month old pickle.
Make sure you periodically stir the pickle well with a dry spoon. This pickle should not be kept in sun, but can be made in traditional way by adding sugar to the marinated lemons, stirring/mixing it everyday till the sugar melts.
Either ways, the taste would be different, so it's worth a try :)
I simply love making chutneys and pickles, for the very fact that i have to worry less to make breakfast recipes for hubby's tiffin. A plain paratha with pickle makes him happy :)
More pickle recipes coming soon :)
Happy Cooking :)