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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Lime Chili Garlic chunky pickle


I love the Indian style pickles - spicy and packed in oil - served as a side with any meal. Over the years, having been disappointed by the taste of packaged pickles, I started making my own... especially since I found the Joys of Home Canning :)

Over summer, when our garden is bountiful, it is always fun to can away the fresh produce for those dreary winter days. But, the pantry always has a dozen or more jars of assorted types of pickles... well... pickling away, till ready for consumption, pretty much year-round.

The only two kinds of pickles I absolutely relish and cannot make myself at home are: Spicy Mahali/Mahani pickle (a type of strong flavored root made into a pickle), and Tender Baby Mango Pickle (Kadugu Manga). My mom used to make these just the way I love them and the flavors still linger in my memory to-date... so, these are the two kinds I end up buying at the store to satisfy my cravings on and off...


At any given time, there would be Chunky Mixed Vegetable Pickle, Lime Pickle, Chunky Lime+Chili+Garlic Pickle, Spicy Chunky Garlic Pickle, Mild (Spreadable) Garlic Relish, Tomato Thokku, Chilli Thokku (green or red chilies) , Ginger Thokku, canned and labeled with the dates, patiently aging away in the pantry waiting to be consumed when ripe and ready :)

The picture above is that of lime+chilli+garlic pickle at the beginning of the process - I just dished some out for the picture... but at the end of the process, before it is ready for canning, they lose their rawness and are well sautéed and wilted. And finally, after maturing for about 8-10 weeks, the lime is soft and fork-tender, the flavors mellow and well-blended, looking absolutely irresistible.


Usually, it takes about 4-6 weeks for them to sit undisturbed so they can mellow out a bit and the flavors can meld before they can be relished.

Since I don't have an exact recipe and each batch of pickle turns out slightly different from the others depending on my mood and ingredients handy, I thought I should record the general procedure here rather than specifics. Sometimes the vegetables are diced nicely, sometimes they are ground to a fine paste (like for the thokku), sometimes they are minced (like for my garlic relish) and sometimes I like to leave them as large chunks...

green chilies
extra hot dry red chili powder
toast: small amounts of mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds, and grind them to a coarse powder
hint of brown sugar (optional)

  • heat adequate amount of oil (can add more as needed later)
  • add the lime, chilies and garlic, plus the spices, sauté and let it cook on medium low heat till well softened
  • add a little oil at a time so the pickle is not too dry, stirring often
  • when oil starts separating and is no longer "absorbed" into the dish, taste and adjust flavors
  • can them if making a large batch OR just store them in an air tight container in a cool dark place to age a little
  • if not canning, allow to cool a bit before storing in an airtight container

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  • At 1:44 PM, Blogger indosungod said…

    Mahani pickle is something my grandmom used to make and I have not come across anyone else making them. I am glad of the fact that you mentioned it. Love the garlic pickle which my other grandmom taught me and is slightly different from the way you make it.

  • At 1:55 PM, Blogger meeso said…

    Oh goodness, Lime pickle is my absolute favorite but I have only had the jarred kind. I can only imagine how good some homemade lime pickle would be!

  • At 10:28 AM, Blogger Roopa said…

    I loved your blog, it has so much useful information!


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