My father always told me that every person thinks his mother is the greatest cook on earth because that is the first taste he’s been exposed to. Luckily for him, my own mother and his wife turned out to be as good a cook as his mother so he continued to have great food all his life, the way it tasted since he first tasted it! So spoilt was he for choice that he used to turn his nose up at pickles and chutneys, denouncing them as the crutch of the rotten cook. Having thus condemned pickles and chutneys so vehemently, my mother assiduously avoided making them leave alone keeping them on her table so I’ve grown up pickleless as a child.
However, when I got married, I found that my husband and his mother’s table not only had a pickle but an entire range of pickles and chutneys served for every meal in a tray with assorted bottles and spoons – a pickle for every taste and every mood. And the only time I ever enjoyed a pickle was when I was pregnant (my early pregnancy detection test actually) and it is only now that I eat the occasional pickle.
Lemon Pickle is by far the easiest pickle to make and one that is particularly yummy when you are nursing a cold and indifferently eating soft khichdi or when you want to spice up some curd rice on a hot, summer day. This lemon pickle also goes well with sweet shira .
So when I found the market flooded with lemons ( they are freshest and cheapest this time of year) I immediately decided to make some lemon pickle.
- 12 lemons cut into 4 wedges
- 1/2 cup of red chilli powder
- 1 cup salt
- 1 tspn turmeric powder
- 1 tspn fenugreek (methi) seeds
- 1 tspn asoefetida powder ( Hing)
- 2 tspns oil
- Wash and dry the lemons and cut into quarters
- In a saucepan heat up the oil and add the fenugreek seeds and saute. Lower the heat and add the asoefetida powder and then the turmeric powder . Allow to cool and grind into a paste.
- In the meanwhile add the salt and redchilli powder to the lemons and mix them up well in a glass jar. Add the tempered turmeric, fenugreek and asoefetida paste and give it a good shake. Keep the bottle in the sun for around ten days till the lemons turn squishy and pickled!
Store in an airtight jar and enjoy on a rainy day!