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Name:Lime Pickle Contributor:Martin Golding
Description:Lime and other fruits pickle Posted:2001-11-26
Key words:Indian, mustard oil, ginger, pepper Category:Side Dishes
ID:577 Updated:2005-12-06 21:04:15
Ingredients:For 500 grams of fruit:
~200 grams of mustard or olive oil (See Note 1)
turmeric powder
powdered cayenne pepper
ground Indian purple mustard
panch phoron (See Note 2)
possibly sugar
minced fresh ginger
small hot green serrano style peppers.
Preparation:Prepare the fruit as follows:

Wash and dry the fruit.

For olives: make four incisions along the length of each olive. Leave the pit in place.

For lemons and limes: if they are small, cut almost into quarters, leaving the pieces just attached at the stem end. Or, if you prefer, cut into quarters entirely. Given the size of lemons in the US, it may be referable to cut them up more finely than that, first into wedges, and then, if the resultant wedges remain too big, cut them in half.

For green mangos: cut along the length, into wedges, and through the outer section of the stone. Discard the seed. If these pieces are too long, cut into smaller segments. A green mango is in a satisfactory state of maturity if the outermost portion of the stone has begun to get tough, but is still soft enough to cut through.

Smear salt and turmeric over the fruit, and put the fruit in a shallow dish or on a large plate, cover with a screen to keep bugs out, and put in the sun for about three summer days, so as to dry the fruit out partially. Incidentally, if you want to keep bugs out you will have to do more than just cover the fruit. You will have to support the dish on something set in a large dish of water, so that you can prevent bugs from crawling under the screen. I suspect that this is less of a problem in a temperate climate than in the tropics, but I expect it is enough of a problem that you have to deal with it.

Take the fruit in in the evenings, to keep dew from condensing onto it. In the absence of a summer sun, put the stuff in the oven, with just the pilot on, and see how it goes. That will take a lot less than 3 days, I assume. You will have to judge how dry things should get. Think about the final product, and use your best judgment.

Take the minced ginger and the green peppers, and dry them in the same way.
These will probably get a good bit drier than the fruit will.

Heat some of the oil, add the panch phoron, stir fry briefly, and cool.

Add the rest of the oil, the fruit, ginger, green peppers, all of the spices, and any sugar you might want to add. Mix well.

Put the mixture in clear glass bottles, and put in the sun for about 10 days. Mix the stuff up from time to time. In what passes for sun in much of the US, you may need more than ten days.

Notes:Rick McKee:
> Martin, do you make Lime Pickle? Got a recipe?

I have a recipe from my oldest netfriend, but I've never gotten around to trying it.

Date: Thu, 12 Dec 91 01:11:58 EST
Here is my translation of a procedure for making Indian pickles. It comes from a Bengali cookbook, and the results will undoubtedly be accented accordingly. Also, there are no quantities specified for the spices, so you will have to experiment.

I have not been in any great hurry, since you can't do this really well til the summer anyway, although you can start experiments which will help you decide how much to use by way of spices. Besides, life has been busy.

Pickles can be made from any tart fruit which provides satisfactory texture on processing. The process involves partial drying, and then pickling in the sun, and some fermentation occurs. Not a lot, but some. At the end of this process the texture should be somewhat soft, slightly gelatinous, but quite well-defined. At least for most pickles. (Tamarind pickle is different; it is usually a paste at the end, with a lot of interspersed fruit, and the whole procedure is very different.)

Lime, lemon, fresh green olives, green mangos, are all acceptable. I received a bottle of olive pickles from home recently, incidentally. I'm very fond of them. My mother keeps apologizing for the fact that since my sister, who served as courier, was in India at the very beginning of the olive season, my mother was not able to get really good olives, but I'm not complaining.

1) You want mustard oil, but if you cannot get Indian mustard oil, do not use the stuff you usually get here. Do not use the Korean oil either. I bought some Korean oil in New York recently. It is quite powerful, but is powerfully garlicky, too, and that is not a good thing. It is not mustardy in net effect, although it is obvious to my nose that it has lots of the allyl isothiocyanate that makes mustard oil what it is, substantially more than you see in Indian mustard oil. Even so, it is dominated by the garlic flavour.

In the absence of a supply of good mustard oil, I would suggest a decent, but not great, grade of olive oil. Nothing expensive. If it really comes to it, any vegetable oil will do; stay away from sesame oil, which has too much flavour which does not belong in the pickle. My very subjective, highly speculative judgment, entirely a priori, is that the flavour of a spicy olive oil will be just fine.

2) panch phoron (I assume you know what that is.1)

Olive pickle is usually quite sweet. Mango pickles vary quite a lot, but are never nearly as sweet as olive pickles. Lemon pickles are usually not particularly sweet. Tamarind pickles are usually very sweet.

In general, do not put wet spoons into the bottle. Pickles will go bad at local concentrations of water.

I am fairly sure that the commercial stuff does not get prepared this way. In particular, I very much doubt that it gets put in the sun to speak of. The commercial stuff is simply not very good.

This is a fairly straight forward recounting of the standard procedure. I have taken no liberties. I don't remember the ginger from when my mother made this back home, but the book says to use it.

I'd suggest experimenting with modest quantities, say a pint jar worth of stuff at a time, and keeping careful records of formulations and conditions.

Finally, I suggest that drying the fruit in the sun is nice, but not crucial. Setting the jars in the sun is important. The effect is simply not the same if you do this any other way.

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