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Sweet and spicy lemon and raisin pickle

Updated: Aug 30, 2022

Pickles in India fall into three broad categories based on how they are preserved, salted or brined, oil and sweet with sugar or jaggery. Sweet pickles exist in every region in India and they serve an important role on the Indian table. They serve to add a pop of sweetness to the dishes that may otherwise be bland, the sweetness activates the salivary glands and stimulates the appetite.

This pickle is a wonderful example of a sweet pickle that is loaded with flavours. It is a flavour bomb, sweet, spicy and tart exploding together. The sticky sugars add a pop of flavour to the dish and the pickle finishes with a trail of heat on the after-palate making you crave more. The spices round out the pickle adding complexity. I loved how it turned out and it is a staple on the table currently.

This cookbook specializes in the cuisine of the Syrian Christians in Kerala. This community traces its ancestry back to the supposed arrival of St. Thomas the Apostle to Kerala in the 1st century. The cuisine has a distinct Anglo-Indian influence from the Portuguese influence and cooking techniques. It is very meat-heavy with duck, beef and mutton taking centre stage. The cuisine is loaded with heavy spices and is rich and bursts with flavours. This book is packed with traditional recipes that define this cuisine. This is a cookbook for those of us who want to experience this fabulous cuisine at home.

For more recipes from this cookbook click here.



Ingredients:

12 lemons

1/4 cup salt


1/4 cup oil

12 curry leaves

1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

8-9 garlic cloves, sliced

1 tablespoon ginger paste

1/2 tablespoon mustard powder

1/4 cup chilli powder, Kashmiri preferred, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

A generous pinch of asafoetida

1/4 cup jaggery or palm sugar

1/2 cup raisins


Wash the lemons and dry them thoroughly. Cut the lemons into half horizontally and then each half into 4 wedges. Toss with the salt in a container, preferably glass with a tight-fitting lid. Allow the lemons to pickle for 10 days. During this period, toss the lemons about twice a day.


After the week, Heat the oil in the pot and add the curry and stir for 20 seconds. Add the fenugreek seeds, garlic, and ginger and cook for 1 minute till the ginger no longer smells raw. Take off the heat and add the Mustard powder, chilli, turmeric, and asafoetida. Give a quick stir and add the sugar. Put back on low heat and stir till the sugar has dissolved and has formed a thick syrup. Add the salted lime and stir in well. Cook for 1 minute till just simmering and take off the heat. You want the sugars to just form a thick sauce. Cooking the mix for too long will make the limes disintegrate. Take off the heat.


Put into sterilized bottles while still hot and seal. Cool and store in the fridge for 1 month before eating.

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