Thursday, December 18, 2014

Lemon Pickle







Blog! I do not give or actually have a reason for not blogging all these months....! I am on a quest or journey of finding myself, what I like to do in life! Yes, I am a mother, daughter, sister, wife.....and many more.....but some where deep inside me, seems to be restless and trying to find "that something", which might give the fullest satisfaction about this life and make me or completes me as a person or as a individual! And I wonder what it is!? I actually panic why and how these things are coming up to me!

All these years I was happy, content and very busy doing all the roles and to be frank, I came out in flying colors and many times my own people wondered and admired me "that I am very good, kind, caring, warm, generous person"!! Which made me proud of myself and in turn, I pushed myself more, beyond my capacities, to perform all the duties and responsibilities and felt good and content about it!!

Well, really? I wonder today! Many times I got hurt when I pushed myself beyond the capacities, ignoring myself, when my mind,body, heart and emotions, was trying to drag attention and tried to speak up, I just tend to ignore or suppress, and continued to do what I was doing, pleasing people beyond my capacities, for which I had to sacrifice, my ego, my emotions, my physical capacities...!

I thought everything is going good, since I was ignoring myself....but suddenly from past few months or nearly an year now...I started to feel, well is this what you wanted to do in life?? And started to listen to all those things about myself, which I had ignored all these years...and now I am discovering myself....!

Well, this does not mean in any way, that what I was doing and am doing I am not enjoying or will leave or end what I am doing now! No way, I will keep going myself and let the things go as it is going and do all the stuff I am doing now, but I guess I might start recognizing and start to hear what my body,heart,mind and emotions says...I will start to give chance for all those things to speak up to me, without suppressing or ignoring!!??

Hmm.....hope I did not bore you by writing something head scratching?  It's winter, it's cold, but so far so good, as long as there is no snow storm, guess cold and chills are fine! I always share recipes and today for this cold winter, you might want a spicy Rasam, with hot rice, papad and pickles on side!!

Pickles! I bet no one on this earth would not like pickle, at least I have not heard anybody who said "I do not like pickle"! Pickle is done in many different ways, around the world! Some are really easy ways and some are complicated! And you would have a notion sometimes, just hearing about some "names", would make you feel, oh! its difficult or impossible to make at home! And one of them is pickle! But actually it's not, it's the easiest recipe but need to be careful while it comes to storing the pickle making sure that pickle does not come in contact with water!

Today I like to share, one of the popular, simpler and yummy recipe of lemon pickle, which you can get in every South Indian house! Yogurt rice (curd rice,as we call), lemon pickle is a great,actually I call it as a deadly yummy combination to end a meal! Pickle is like a life saver! You don't have time to make curry but if you have pickle, it goes well with anything and everything! With chapatis/rice/dosa/idlis......or if any of your dishes turn out to be bland, and not enough spicy, just add pickle on the side, I bet you would have eaten more, than you wanted!!

So today I am sharing the lemon pickle recipe, which of course is my mom's recipe! She is the best pickle maker, I can say! She knows lot of methods and different kinds of pickles and I don't remember a day without a pickle in my house, which was made by my mom! Even today she has a passion to make pickles and I enjoy when I visit India!

I made up my mind to learn from her how to make lemon pickle, which is the simple and easy to make! It came out really good and my husband and my kids love them, and my friends love them too!   And when my mom certified it was good, then I got confidence that I can share it with you!

An important tip or suggestion is, usually we think pickle can be "salty" and not good for people with high Blood pressures, but I have tried with less salt also, but it tastes equally good and you no longer be deprived of pickle,so please try it at home and enjoy!

Ingredients:

Lemons - 6-8 (Since lemons are very big here, I use 6-8)
Salt according to taste
Fenugreek (methi seeds) - 2 Tbsp
Red chillies - according to taste or spice level
Asafoetida (Hing)

Method:

Before starting to make, clean the counter area and make sure there is no water or any moist on the surface of the kitchen counter. The knife, cutting board you use, should also be very dry. It's always best to use a glass bottle to store the pickles but if you can get the traditional "jaadi"( we call it in our language as Jaadi, which is jar), which is a special kind of jar used to store pickles and I guess its made of clay, am not sure, I tried to google but was not able to find answers, will ask my mom and get back to you soon.  So the glass bottle should be totally dry without any moist or any traces of water.

Dry roast Fenugreek seeds, add a drop of oil and when it's warm enough, add asafetida and red chillies and fry for few secs, until you get the aroma of red chillies and once all the ingredients are cool, dry grind into a fine powder, in the mixer and keep it aside.

Wash lemons and dry it out fully, with out any moisture! Cut into small pieces,well I cut them small,but if you prefer big,you can do so. (Since my kids like to taste them, and sometimes, it tend to get waste in the plate, so I cut them small. )

I add one layer of cut lemon pieces and then add 1-2 spoons of salt and then add another layer of lemons and then again salt. Once you are done with all the lemon pieces, close it air tight and put it aside.

Next day open the bottle and stir with a dry spoon and mix well the salt and the lemon and by this time the salt would have started melting and lemon and you can see lemon juice! Do this for two days and then add the dry powder and mix well.

I usually use it immediately but if you keep it for couple of days, every day stirring with a dry spoon, the lemons becomes soft and blends well with the powder! Keep the bottle in a dry place or you can store in refrigerator also for months!

But if you use it immediately the lemons will not be soft, and I like that taste also! And once you are ready to use the pickles, mix it nicely and take out some and put it in a different dry container. In a small pan heat up one spoon of oil and add mustard seeds and when it splutters add a pinch of hing and add them to the pickle and it's ready to eat!

Enjoy with yogurt rice/chapathi/dosa/idli/pongal.......! 

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