Sometimes I wonder why we Indians put so much effort in cooking food? I mean why can’t we have super quick food like veggies with dips or burgers with BLT or pickles with just vinegar & salt….I mean why for God’s sake we have to have a symphony in our food where all the ingredients have to play their part, in adjusted proportions! All for the love of tongue..I guess!
When I last visited Indian store, I got a lot of ready-made pickles.But very frankly I was very disappointed even with the best brands! The only one which probably I liked was Sanjeev Kapoor‘s Khana Khazana Red Chilli Pickle…even the others from same brand were just okay!After the disappointments ,I was forced to barge into the world of pickle making & with Las Vegas sunny days on my side…Viola…they came out ..delish! :) Ofcourse, after repeated consultations from my mom back in India!
From my childhood days,I remember my grandmother preparing a lot ….I mean a lot of pickles.During summers, the sabzi vaala was instructed to bring rampuri raw mangoes because they were best suited for pickle making.She used to wash,peel, pit, clean & then cut the mangoes into small pieces followed by lots of steps spread over a period of 4-5 days untill the kaanch ki bot [a glass container]containing the achaar was left in the sun for setting!The same process was repeated with lemons, jackfruit, losada[a kind of indian gooseberry],garlic, green chillies, red chillies..etc etc.It was a sort of project for her…and she thoroughly enjoyed it too! Gosh…I miss her pickles dearly! :(
Okay coming back to my recipe, but before I do that I would really love to share this absolutely tasty product from Trader Joe’s on which I laid my hands just by chance! It is called “Chile Spiced Mango” & is really tangy on the tongue.Its a version of our good old aam papad with red chilli powder smothered on it! Sounds yummy..Go grab it… I have not been able to stop eating it since the time I got it! :) Do try it if you like sweet & spicy stuff and let me know!
S0 now the recipe! Also I make the pickles in really small batches because both me & my husband do not like our pickles soft & mushy! So I prepare them again after a short period of time.The recipe below lasts for about 2-3 weeks with the crunch.Below is how I did it!
What I needed:
Note: You can reduce or increase the spice quantities as per your liking.
- 6-7 whole green chillies
- 1 tsp brown mustard seeds [rai]
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds [methi]
- 2 tsp fennel seeds [saunf]
- 2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp dry mango powder [ amchoor]
- 2 tsp salt
- Mustard oil [or any flavored oil]
How I did it :
- Wash the green chillies thoroughly & remove stems from them.Pat the chillies dry in paper towel and make sure all moisture is removed from them.This is absolutely necessary else the pickle will turn bad.
- Using a sharp knife , make a lengthwise slit in all the chillies but not all through. Next remove/scoop all the seeds and veins from inside of the chillies.Reserve these to be used for making the stuffing.[You can use round tip of your peeler to do so]
- Using a mortar& pestle coarsely grind the mustard seeds, fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds.
- In a small bowl, add all the spices to the scooped veins & seeds and mix well to make a masala .Next, stuff all the green chillies with the this masala .You will have some left over masala.Dont throw it.
- Now, I like to cut the stuffed chillies into 2-3 pieces.You can keep them whole if you like it that way.
- In a dry glass container with a tight lid, put the cut stuffed green chillies.Tip in the leftover masala into the container.Next, pour mustard oil into container till the chillies are just covered.
- Now keep this glass container in a dry, sunny place for around 1-2 days till the chillies become pale green and soft!
- Pickle is ready to eat.Serve with stuffed parathas, pooris [indian flatbreads] or relish it with dal -rice.
- Do not put dirty hands or spoons ever into the achaar/pickle else it will turn bad.
- Absolutely make sure that the chillies & container are moisture free.
- There is no need of putting the pickle in refrigerator.It can lead to increased moisture in the pickle.Sun-cooked pickles normally last at room conditions for months together.
- If you do not want your pickle to be very hot, do not not add the scooped veins & seeds from the green chillies.
Sending this to CWS – Fennel Seeds event by Priya