Pickle is a popular condiment in Southern India mostly made either with fruits or vegetables. Pickling is an art, ofcourse..the process is time consuming but worth a try. Take a look at my successful experiments in making perfect lime pickle in 12 days.
Lemon Pickle / Yellumichaigai Oorgai / Urkai / Oorukai
|8 nos||Key limes|
|2 nos||Lemon (big)|
|3 tsp||Kosher salt|
|1 tsp||Cumin seeds|
|1 tsp||Fenugreek seeds|
|3 tsp||Red chili powder|
|¼ tsp||Turmeric powder|
|¼ tsp||Asafoetida powder|
|¼ cup||Sesame oil (nallennai)|
|1 tsp||Mustard seed (for tempering)|
Key limes in basket and large yellow lemons.
Wash and wipe clean the limes and lemons. Quarter the key limes, squeeze the juice out of the large yellow lemons and keep aside.
Key limes soaked in lemon juice with salt.
We need a sterlized jar for the pickling process. Clean a glass jar, sterlize by running a cyle in your dishwasher , wipe clean and dry completely. Now combine the quartered limes along with lemon juice and salt. Mix thoroughly in the jar, put a tight lid, cover with clean piece of cloth and keep it undisturbed for 5 days. Let it stay on your kitchen counter during the night and during day place the jar near a sunny window. Make sure you shake the bottle/jar to coat all the lime pieces with the juice because most of the time, the juice will settle to the bottom and limes on the top will look dry.
Picture taken on the 5th day.
After 5 days the lime will become half tender and look as shown above.
Clockwise from right Fenugreek seeds, Mustard, Cumin seeds & Red Chili Powder.
For the Pickle powder: Dry roast each ingredient separately in a tawa (mustard, cumin and fenugreek). Let cool and grind to fine powder and keep aside.
Ground Spices ~~~ Pickle Powder
Your pickle powder will look like this.
Lime mixed with Pickle powder taking sun bath.
End of fifth day, open the jar and add about 3 tsp of pickle powder, red chili powder, turmeric, asafoetida powder and mix well with a clean dry spoon. Close again and let it sit for another 5 days following the same day and night procedure.
Picture taken on Day 10.
On the tenth day it must be ready for tempering. Heat 1/4 cup sesame oil, splutter mustard and let the oil mixture cool before ading it to the pickle. Now mix well with a clean dry spoon. Its ok to consume at this stage but I would normally keep for another couple of days following the above procedure to tenderize it further.
Its Day 12 , Enjoy!!!
On the twelveth day you will have perfect finger -licking hot, slightly sweet and tangy lime pickle.
Choosing the best limes and lemon is the key to making good pickle. Ripe key limes or small Indian lemons works well. Especially the lime rind(skin) should be very thin, because thin skins soaks up quickly and becomes tender and soft in short time. Thick skins takes about a month or 2 to become really soft.
Pickle podi can be stored in refridgerator in an air-tight container until next use. The above proportion usually makes 3 tbsp , use what's necessary and store the rest. Adjust the spice level depending on you taste.
Clean dry spoon matters a lot, even little water could spoil the whole process and reduce the shelf life. If preserved well will last for 3 months.
Yield: Makes 200 grams approx