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Make quick and easy pickles at home
Summer is a time of warm weather, swimming, good food and fun. Traditionally, it is also the time for pickling as we try to make the season last forever and find ways to preserve the season’s best herbs, fruit, and vegetables. With the warm weather continuing into autumn, now’s the time to get pickling!
Pickling has been a part of Indian cuisine for centuries and these pickles and spicy condiments add a special flavour to our meals. Nowadays, we find many commercially made pickles and chutneys, but many preservatives are added, which reduce the nutritional value. Pickling at home is easy and ensures minimal oil and salt usage. Green mangoes, carrots, lemons and gooseberries are great ingredients for tangy pickles and candied fruit. Let’s pickle while the sun shines!
SWEET LEMON PICKLE
Lemons provide your quota of Vitamin C while jaggery gives you a share of Iron and natural sugar. Sweet lemon pickle is a treat!
~1kg yellow lemons
~2 tbsp. black salt
~1 tsp. cumin
~1 tsp. carom
~1 tsp. black pepper
~1/4 tsp. asafoetida
~1 tsp. cinnamon
~5-7 cloves powder
~1 tbsp. red chilli powder
De-seed the lemons before juicing.
Cut remaining lemon flesh into smaller pieces to store in a fresh sterilised sealable glass jar.
Add lemon juice along with black salt to the jar before placing out in the sun.
For the next 4-5 days, once a day, turn the lemons in the juice with a dry spoon.
Heat jaggery in a large heavy-bottomed pan till it melts. Put the prepared lemon in.
Mix all the spices and add to the pan.
Stir with a spatula for a few minutes till cooked.
Store in the same glass bottle and keep it in sun for 10 days.
Store in a cool dry place.
Pickling carrots is a great way of eating the crunchy Vitamin A powerhouse. This carrot pickle is a low oil pickle which is still great in taste
~1 tsp. turmeric powder
~½ tsp. red chilli powder
~4 tbsp. coarsely powdered mustard seeds
~Salt to taste
~2 tbsp. mustard oil
Peel carrots and rinse well with water.
Cut the carrots in desired shape and leave to dry in the sun for 2-3 hours.
Mix the carrots, spices, salt and mustard oil and pour into a sterilised glass jar.
Keep the jar in sunlight or a warm place for 3-4 days (longer in winter).
The pickle is ready to be consumed when the carrot turns slightly sour. If not sour, keep in the sun for a few more days. Store in refrigerator.
Amla or Indian gooseberry candy is a great digestive. It is a good source of Vitamin C, helps to enrich hair growth, has diuretic properties and helps stimulate the metabolism. If you cannot find fresh ones, frozen amla work just as well for this recipe.
~½ kg amla or gooseberries (frozen or fresh)
~250 g sugar
Steam the gooseberries in a steamer for 15 minutes or cook in a pressure cooker until 1 whistle.
Let the gooseberries cool; deseed and separate into flakes.
Mix the gooseberry flakes with sugar in a deep bowl. Cover the bowl and keep outside in the shade for 2 days. Turn with a dry spoon 2-3 times a day.
Spread the amla flakes on a plate lined with baking paper. Allow to dry in the shade for a further 2-3 days. Do not keep the plate in direct sunlight, or they will darken in colour.
The candy can be stored in the refrigerator or in a cool, dry place.