Monday, September 22, 2008

"Indian" Lemon Pickle

Ths is an excellent pickle recipe from Madhur Jaffery's excellent book "World -of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking" whch uses some very medicinal spices which have a "settling" effect on the stomach. It is salty and sour. The only "heat" it has comes from black pepper. It turns darker and better as it ages. It's really easy to make. After that all you have to do is remember to shake it every day!

I would highly recommend any of her books. She's awesome!!!

So here it goes in the very words of "Madhur Jaffery":
6 unblemished lemons or limes
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
4 large black cardamom pods (only found at indian grocery. You may try substituting it with nutpeg perhaps...)
2 tsp whole cumin seeds
A 2" piece of cinnamon broken up a bit.
12 whole cloves
6 tsp salt
2 Tsp lime/lemon juice

Wash 6 lemons and leave to dry off in the sun or in an airy place.
Put the black peppercorns, black cardamoms (skin and all), curnin seeds, cinnamon, and cloves into the container of a coffee grinder or other spice grinder. Grind as fine as possible. Empty the spices into a cup. Add the salt and mix.

Find a wide-mouthed jar or crock that will hold the 6 lemons esily with enough room to shake them.

Quarter the lemons lengthwise in such away that the 4 sections remain attached at the bottom. Remove seeds, if any.

Divide the spice mixture into six parts. "Stuff" onr portion into each of the lemons, rubbing the spices well into the cut section. Close up the lemons and put them, cut side up, into the jar. Cover the jar with a nonmetallic lid and place it in a warm, sunny spot for as many hours of sunlight as you can manage to get in the next 24 hours.

On the following day, add the 6 tablespoons of lemons juice to the pickle jar. Cover and shake well. For the next month, put the jar in a warm, sunny spot in the daytime and then, if that spot is outdoors bring the pickle in at night. Shake the jar three or four times a day. The pickle is still not ready. You may discontinue putting it out in the sun, but continue to shake the jar for another month. You may now begin to remove wedges of the pickle for eating. Do not refrigerate the pickle and remember that it will keep improving with age.

To serve four people, remove two wedges and cut each wedge into halves. Arrange these halves in a small, shallow bowl and set the bowl in the center of the table along with other chutneys and relishes.


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