My momâ€™s pickles are very famous among our friends and family. She even gives them to most of the functions at the temples at our native. Her pickles had the perfect blend of spice, salt, asafoetida etc. She uses a very little oil in them. We always ask my mom to start a pickle business, but she thought we are just kidding.
I never like the store bought pickles because of oil. They look like made of oil and oil just spoils the entire taste.
I have been trying some of the pickles these days. I loved the bitter gourd pickle. When I was a kid, I never ate this, but my mom would keep ready a batch of this for my dad. He simply loved this.
Bitter gourd (cut into thin slices) 2 cups
Green chillies (cut into slits) 1 cup
Oil 2 tea spns
Mustard seeds 1 and 1/2 tea spns
Fenugreek(methi) seeds Â¼ tea spn
Turmeric Â¼ tea spn
Asafoetida Â¼ tea spn
Jaggery Â½ tea spn
Tamarind Â½ tea spn
Mom adds 1 cup of chillis to 1 cup bitter gourd. I reduced the proportion because the chillies I used were too hot.
Jaggery and Tamarind can be increased to suit the taste.
Add 1 tea spn of salt to bitter gourd pieces and keep aside for 30mins. Squeeze off the water.
Heat 1 and Â½ tea spn oil and fry the bitter gourd pieces. Add turmeric and when the bitter gourd is half cooked, add chillies (if added in the beginning, chillies cook faster and bitter gourd remains raw).
When bitter gourd and chillies get a brownish color, stop cooking. Let them cool to room temperature.
Heat remaining oil and fry mustard and fenugreek seeds (fry on a low flame. If the amount of fenugreek becomes more or mustard gets burnt, the pickle becomes bitter). Add asafoetida and grind this to a smooth paste along with jaggery.
Add the masala and tamarind extract (directly use the tamarind extract available in market without adding water, if using normal tamarind, extract thick pulp using water) to the bitter gourd-chilli mixture. Mix well. Check for salt (bitter gourd retains some salt from first step). If required, add salt.
This pickle can be used soon after preparing. Store it in an airtight container in refrigerator. It remains good for around 15 days.