Prep 12 mins
Cook 30 mins
Indians pickle just about any vegetable, fruit, berry and nut. Pickles are intended to pack strong flavors in small quantities, so they are never consumed by spoonfuls. They are meant to enhance breads, rice and other mellow-flavored items during a meal. The majority of pickles are spicy hot, containing a high proportion of ground red pepper (cayenne). Others are milder, but all pickles are laced with spices. The lemons found in India are much smaller and juicier than their American cousins. At times, your local Indian grocery store might stock this variety, so buy them in a hurry before they disappear. The usual kind available in your supermarket will work just fine, too.
- 2 medium lemons, each cut into 16 wedges
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons ground red pepper (cayenne, or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds or 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
- 1⁄2 teaspoon asafoetida powder (aka hing or heeng, or you can use garlic powder)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon roasted fenugreek seeds, ground (see note at recipe's end)
- Heat lemon wedges, water and salt to boiling in 2-quart saucepan; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 12-15 minutes or until lemons are tender and water has almost evaporated; remove from heat. Stir in ground red pepper.
- Heat oil and mustard seeds in 6-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Once seed begins to pop, cover skillet and wait until popping stops. Add hot oil mixture and remaining ingredients to lemons; mix well.
- Cool pickle 20-30 minutes. Tightly cover and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- DRY-ROASTING FENUGREEK SEEDS: Heat heavy 6-inch skillet over medium heat about 2 minutes. (Hold hand, palm down, about 4 inches above bottom of skillet. It should feel warm.) Add seeds to skillet and cook 30-60 seconds, stirring constantly, until seeds turn reddish brown and have an almost nutty, slightly bitter aroma. If grinding seeds, which you are in this recipe, let cool 1 to 2 minutes, then grind in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle.
I gave this a a four because I like the processing of Mirj's, much easier. I didn't like the over cooking and the pouring on for a couple minutes of boiling water seemed enough. However, I did like the spice mixture although I used garlic and not asafetida powder. The roasted fenugreek was a definite winner.