It is lemon season and this year has been a bumper crop. A great way to preserve lemons for the rest of the year is to pickle them. This is a spicy pickle that goes well with rice and yoghurt.
Salt 1 tbsp
Til oil or sesame oil 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds 1 tsp
Ginger 1” piece, finely chopped
Garlic 5 cloves, finely chopped
Green chillies 2, finely chopped
Curry leaves 5-6 sprigs
Red chilli powder 1 tbsp
Asafoetida powder 1/2 tsp
White vinegar 1 tbsp
Wash and dry the lemons.
Take 2 tablespoons of til oil in a wok and fry the lemons in it. Use til oil from the Indian grocery shops. You can’t use sesame oil that you use for salads or for Asian cooking.
Fry the lemons for 2 minutes, stirring all the while. See that the lemons don’t break.
Cool the lemons and chop each lemon into four pieces.
Add salt and turmeric and toss it well.
Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok and heat it on medium flame. If the wok becomes too hot, remove from the flame and once it cools a bit, return it to the stove.
Add the mustard seeds. When they stop sputtering, add the fenugreek seeds.
Add the chopped garlic, ginger and green chillies. Separate the curry leaves and add to the wok.
Add the red chilli powder and asafoetida powder. Sauté for a few seconds.
Add the lemons and toss well. Add the vinegar and switch off the heat.
When the pickle has cooled down completely, transfer to sterilised bottles.
Add the rest of the til oil and close tight.
Let it rest for two days. Once you open the bottle, refrigerate it.