Finally the Rains have just hit Mumbai ...... Well almost ...... it did rain in the morning ..... another few days and its full monsoon I guess. But with the rain comes the problem of buying vegetables ...... No worries my ...... "Limbiya Kanchi / Brined Lemons" .... are almost ready, another few weeks and I can have them with hot pejja / kanji / ganji oota ....... in the nights and have a good sleep ....... Bliss ....
I have already posted the recipe for making Kanchi before. This one is also on the same lines, but I have made some minute changes to the first recipe. I am repeating the recipe here with the changes.
Wipe with a clean dry cloth about 50 medium sized lemons. The lemons should not be over ripe nor too raw. They should be spotless, firm and light yellow in colour. These are considered the best for brining. Let dry in shade for some time say overnight. Boil about 2 cups of water, then add to it about 1 to 1.5 cups of salt and mix well till salt has mixed well. Cool completely. Strain the salt water to remove, if there are any impurities on a muslin or cotton cloth. Now squeeze out the juice of 10 lemons and add to the salt water and mix well. Cut lemons into 4 to 6 pieces each depending on the size of the lemon. Put them in a sterlized glass jar. Pour the salt-lime water upto to the brim level. Cover with a plastic sheet and then tightly with lid and keep aside for some days. After about 15-20 days they are ready to be consumed.
If done in good and proper hygienic manner these brined lemons stay good for years even though their colour gradually changes to darker shades. I do not add any ginger or chillies while brining the lemons but you can add them if desired as they add up a bit of spice level. However if you brine the lemons and keep them as it is, you can always remove some in a different jar and add the spices. Whenever you want instant pickle, you can also add some roasted red chillies, hing, methi, mustard and powder them and then add them to some of the lemons after brining.
The reason I do not add any spices initially are :
** It gives me the option of having them as it is.
** I can always add them later on to some of the lemons only.
** It gives me the option of making some instant pickle if the need arises.
** Try Brined lemons as it is after about a month when they are ready for consumption along with pejja / kanji / ganji oota / plain rice porridge. It’s a great one to have when you are down with fever or any other ailments. It gives the taste buds a lift and you feel enegized.
** The best time to prepare these brined lemons are in winter when you get plenty of fresh lemons at throw away prices. However, you can always prepare them anytime suitable to you if you get them in plenty. But then, I will not advice you to prepare these during monsoon as the lemon then get soaked in water and the quality does not remain the same. The brining will get affected and there are chances the lemons may get spoilt.
** Here is the link to the Kanchi Recipe-1