Aayi’s pickles are loved by everyone. They are the best and somehow I feel when I make the same pickles, they are not as half good as hers. I don’t know what is it that I miss. I am one of those, who cannot eat her meals without pickles. Lime/lemon pickles are my favorites. Aayi makes a huge batch of them just for me.
When she came here about 1 and 1/2 years ago, she made a huge batch of it for me. Last year when I went to India, aayi asked me if I wanted to take some of her lemon pickle with me. Since I wanted to bring mango pickle, which I cannot make here, I opted for that and I left out lemon pickle.
In December, all the lemon pickle was finished. So now, I wanted to make my own batch. Some of you may think I am crazy to make pickles in winter. But I wanted this immediately. So I brought a big batch of thin skinned lemons and made two kinds of pickles. One yellow and one red. The red kind was from aayi’s pickle recipe. Few days ago, I had tried lemon-chilli pickle by Sanjeev Kapoor. It was one of the best ready made pickles that I have tasted so far. It had white sesame seeds in it, which I really loved. So this pickle recipe was born from these two recipes. I followed aayi’s recipe, left out red chilli powder, used more green chillies and used sesame seeds.
As aayi had instructed, I gave it a good shake once in 15days or so and in about 1 and 1/2 months, both pickles were ready. Yayyy!!!. Finally…I am happy with pickles. They are just like the way I like. I didn’t take step by step pictures this time as all the steps are same as the lemon pickle – except for chillies and the sesame seeds. My spice powder did not become a smooth powder, so you can see some mustard and other pieces in the picture, which should be totally fine.
Last weekend was another pickle weekend at my home. I made two ready to eat pickles – cauliflower pickle and chilli pickle. I also made pineapple paank and some spice powders. My weekday meals are so much easier now because of all these. I had to spend about 3-4 hrs on the Sunday morning to get all these ready.
3 cups lemon/lime pieces
1 tbl spn ginger
1/2 cup chopped green chilies
1 tbl spn sesame seeds
2 tbl spns mustard seeds
1/2 tea spn methi seeds
1/2 tea spn asafoetida
1 tea spn turmeric
2 and 1/2 tea spns oil
1/2 cup salt
Cut the lemon/lime into small pieces. Chop the chillies into about 1/2″ pieces.
Heat 1 tea spn oil and fry mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida 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.
Add the above powder, salt to the lemon pieces and mix well.
Heat little oil and fry ginger and green chilies for 2-3 mins. When it is cooled to room temperature, mix this with the lemon pieces. Take care to mix this when it comes to room temperature. If this is mixed when hot, the pickle gets spoiled soon.
Heat about 1/2 tea spn oil and add sesame seeds. When they start popping, take off the heat and cool them to room temperature. Add these to pickle.
Store this in an airtight container. Leave it as it is for about 15days. Then open the container and see if the pickle is fine. 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.
– Use hot chillies, if the chillies are mild, increase the amount of them in the pickle.
– 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.
– If you think this much salt is too much, add about 1/3 cup initially and then add more if required.