Saturday, February 4, 2017

Lemon Pickle With Dry Masala.

Limbiyache' Puddi Nonche / Lemon Pickle With Dry Masala / Nimboo Ka Aachar / Limboo cha Loncha ... This one is exclusively my Mom's Recipe ... Tastes Yummy ... Remains good for months ... Enjoy with any dish of your choice ...

Pickle is a side dish with every lunch, dinner or breakfast served in Indian Homes. A pickle is sort of a must for most of us Indians. There are many types of pickles prepared in India and each one differs from the other. Everybody has their own method. Mostly pickles are prepared with addition of oil for preservation. GSB Konkani Saraswat’s recipes differ a bit. We do not add oil for preservation. The addition of extra salt and mustard is one method to keep the pickle good for some time. Also care is taken to see that the ingredients are roasted dry well which is a very important step in making of pickles. A little pickle served at the side of plate goes a long way during lunch and dinner times. We also serve it with Idly, dosa along with chutney ~ sambar. Mention of pickle brings saliva in mouth of many of us. When someone eats it sitting in front of us also make our mouth water. That is the effect a good spicy pickle has on many of us on for sure on some of you too.

Pickle prepared and kept also works fine during emergency times when you are unable to prepare dishes due to unavoidable circumstances. So always see to it that there is a bottle of pickle handy at home whether you consume it often or not. This one is prepared using powdered ingredients and can be done in a jiffy as all items are readily available in the kitchen. I am sharing here the recipe for 50 lemons. You can increase or decrease the no of lemons and accordingly prepare the powder and prepare the pickle too. Take care to see that you use clean sterilized bottles for storing. Also clean vessel and spatulas etc. Hygiene is very important while preparing pickle else the pickle may get spoilt. However, do take care and NEVER GO OVERBOARD WITH EATING OF PICKLES as the addition of excess salt is not good for people who are diabetic, having BP issues etc. If the desire to eat persists see to it that you do not add salt or add less to the other dishes served along with it. That helps to keep in the salt balance in the body without overdoing. 

Ingredients :
50 Lemons – large sized.
Salt 3 cups (1.5 pav)
Water 1.5 cups

Masala :
6 cups of red chillies or 2 heaped cup of red chilli powder (I used Kashmiri Chilly powder)
1 cup Rai / Mustard Seeds.
1 tsp of Methi / Fenugreek Seeds.
2 tblsp of Hing / Asafoetida Powder.
1 tblsp Haldi / Turmeric Powder.

Wash the lemons and wipe them clean with a clean towel. There should be no trace of water. Now cut the lemon into quarters. The size of the lemon cuts depends upon the size of the lemon. If very large sized you can cut them into 6 or 8 pieces too. Repeat with all the lemons and put them in a clean cooking stainless steel wide vessel.

Boil water in a small vessel and add in the salt and mix well. Pour it into the vessel in which lemon are put and mix well. Put the vessel on high heat and cook till you see some bubbles appearing. 

Do keep mixing for the lemon to get equally cooked a bit. Do not over cook the lemon lest they will loose shape. Just for about 4-5 mins. That’s all, remove and let cool. Keep mixing often. When left aside overnight or for few years the water will thicken with the addition of lime juice by itself. 

No in a clean tava / kadai / kaili fry each of the ingredients separately. That is fry mustard seeds, methi, hing, haldi separately for some time. The mustard when dry frying should splutter. Remove all and put in a mixer grinder and grind to a fine powder. If using whole red chillies fry them also separately and powder fine. 

I did not use whole red chillies but instead used Red Kashmiri Chilli Powder. I buy Kashmiri chilly by bulk dry it in sunlight and get it powdered from the Mill. I prefer Kashmiri chilly for both the lovely colour it imparts and the bulk it gives to the gravies. So add the powder also on the tawa and fry it on low heat for 5-7 minutes. Now let the powders cool a bit. Mix all the powder well. There should be no lumps whatsoever. The powders should be mixed really well. If unable to do so with spatula you may use the mixer too.

Now add all the powders to the cooked and cooled lemons along with the water in which it was cooked and mix well. The water will have become thick salty lemon juice and that much is needed to bind in the masala and mix well. That is why please do not add more water while you cook the lemons lest the nonche / loncha / pickle will give thinner texture. Also in a few weeks times it will dry out more. Cover and keep aside for 2-3 hours. The mixture will thicken. Bottle the pickle In sterilized glass jars. Taking care to see that there are no air pocket within. Press down with a clean spoon if necessary. Done.

While covering the glass jar lid place a plastic to which a thin film of coconut oil has been applied and then put the lid. This will prevent the pickle from getting spoilt as the air will get sealed off. Keep the pickle bottle aside for 2-3 days before serving. 

For serving remove some amount of the pickle in small Jar and use it. Do not keep opening the larger jar often. That way unnecessary aeration can be prevented. Stays good for months. 

Serve the pickle to Family and friends during lunch / dinner or festive times. A little bit of pickle goes a long way during lunch / dinner time. We Amchies have the habit of eating peja / rice porridge in the night at time. Serving this pickle with it is considered to bring back taste on tongue if due to fever or health issues one is not in the best of his / her health. 

Its good to have a lemon bottle pickle ready during monsoon season, when many a time coz. of the weather our health goes down. This ensures that you eat something and have that good slumber of sleep. However, I repeat again ….. Please do take care and NEVER GO OVERBOARD WITH EATING OF PICKLES as the addition of excess salt is not good for people who are diabetic, having BP issues etc. If the desire to eat persists see to it that you do not add salt or add less to the other dishes served along with it. That helps to keep in the salt balance in body.

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