Recipe – Instant Indian Gooseberry | Amla and Green Chili Pickle


Amla/Amlaki or Indian Gooseberry marks the advent of winter season. It is a super food and a great immunity booster due to it’s high vitamin C content. Amla is good for skin, heart, hair so I eat it raw (grated) with lunch on a daily basis apart from making variety of chutneys, pickles, jam, preserve etc. Even dry it to use later as a souring agent or as amla supari (a digestive aid and mouth freshener. All the recipes are on my blog. This is a favorite instant pickle with green chilies. Minimal oil and just the right amount of salt and spices. No preservatives or chemicals. You can eat it more than the store bought pickle. It stays well for a month in the refrigerator. I make small fresh batches till the season lasts and then a larger batch to mark the end of the season.

The fruit laden branch you see is from Safdarjung Tomb Gardens. When you visit the garden tombs please look around in the gardens too. There is a wealth of beauty waiting to be discovered. Please don’t vandalize. Be gentle.

The scientific name of Amla is Phyllanthus emblica and it belongs to Phyllanthaceae family. We all know the tremendous medicinal and culinary usage of Amla. The tree has spiritual significance too. It is said that Amalaka fruit was the final gift to the Buddhist Sangha from the great Emperor Ashoka. The Amalaka stupa is in Patna. It’s one of the Bodhi trees and also sacred in Hindu religion. It’s believed to have grown from the heavenly nectar (Amrit) hence the name Amalaki. The greenish yellow Amla berries are harvested by hand and are smooth&hard in texture. They have a sour, astringent taste. Most medicinal trees are considered sacred in Hindu religion and it’s true with Amla too.

Here’s the recipe for the instant pickle :

Ingredients :

Amla -8-10

Green Chilies -6-7

Mustard (sarson) seeds- 1 teaspoon

Fenugreek (methi) seeds – 1 teaspoon

Asafoetida (Hing) – 2 pinches

Turmeric – 1/4 tespoon

Red chili powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Salt – to taste

Mustard Oil – 2 Tablespoon

Method :

Steam the washed and pat dried Amlas and cut them into small pieces once they cool.

Heat mustard oil in a cast iron or non stick pan (I use cast iron) till it smokes.

Remove from heat.Cool it just a little and add both the seeds and hing ( asafoetida).

When the seeds begin to splutter add red chili powder and turmeric powder.

Stir in the pieces of steamed amla and raw chopped green chilies. Also add salt.

Once all the ingredients are mixed properly let it cool completely in a bowl or in the pan itself.

Take a clean glass bottle to store the pickle and keep it airtight.

The spicy tangy amla pickle is ready to eat in a an hour or kept in the refrigerator for a fortnight.

You can adjust the salt and chilies according to taste but try to keep the natural flavors. Over spiced pickle can lose its flavor and nutrients.

Always choose unblemished fruit that is firm and nice. Make sure there is no moisture while making or serving pickle for a long shelf life.

Recipe – UP Style Crushed Garlic Pickle


Crushed garlic pickle with whole garlic cloves in a mélange of spices is a typical UP style pickle perfect for winter. The heat and piquancy from crushed green chilies,  lemon n mustard seeds makes it delightfully flavourful. The other spices add to the flavor.
Pickles are an essential part of Indian meals and every region has their own special way of pickling. In fact, each household has some secret ingredients that make a particular pickle unique in its own way. This particular pickle recipe is from my extended family in Allahabad. Pickles can spruce up the simplest of meals plus homemade seasonal pickles are probiotic and good aid for digestion and if you are a garlic lover like me this will be a game changer pickle for you. You all know about the health benefits of garlic but I love
the way it enlivens any savory dish with its bold flavor. The beauty of this traditional  pickle is the use of both whole and crushed garlic pods. It’s meaty and crunchy at the same time. So here is the heirloom recipe of desi lahsun ka achar from Uttar Pradesh. I learned it from my cousin’s wife who lives in Allahabad. It is a boon to have parents from two different states and communities. There is a wealth of heirloom recipes one can learn.
Read the entire recipe before beginning. 
Ingredients :
250 gm – Garlic pods ( pealed)
50 gm – Fresh Ginger root  (pealed)
8-10 – Fresh Green Chilies
2 pinches ( 1/4 tsp) – Asafoitida
1/2 tsp – Turmeric Powder
1 tsp – Kalaunji (nigella seeds)
1 tsp – Fenugreek seeds
1 tsp – Coriander seeds
1 tsp – Fennel seeds
1 tsp – Ajwain ( bishops seeds)
1 tsp – Cumin seeds
Juice of 2 Lemons ( keep the squeezed lemon aside)
Plain salt as required
Black Salt as required
200 gm -Mustard oil + 4 Tbsp
Method :
Collect all the ingredients at one place along with a dry clean glass jar to keep the pickle. Remember to keep your hands and all the utensils clean and dry. This will ensure the longevity of the pickle.
Select unblemished Garlic bulbs with pods of medium thickness. Peal them and keep aside.
Dry roast all the whole spices on low heat one by one till they become fragrant and remove in a plate. You can dry roast together too but I prefer to do separately. Slow roasted spices give the pickle its unique flavor which isn’t possible if you use them unroasted.
Once done let it cool completely and then grind 3/4 of the whole spices coarsely in a grinder. The remaining whole spices we will add as it is. Keep aside both the ground and whole spices.
Now, in the same jar coarsely grind 3/4 of the garlic pods along with the green chilies. use the chilies as per your heat thresh hold and make sure they don’t overpower the taste of garlic. We won’t use red chili powder in this pickle. Rest of the garlic pods will go whole in the pickle. This mixing of both the crushed and whole garlic enhances the taste.
Grate the fresh ginger root and keep aside. You can omit ginger if you wish. I know a few who do not prefer it in this pickle.
Once you juice the two lemons, cut the squeezed lemons in small pieces. throw away the seeds. Keep aside. Adding these small juicy lemon pieces will add the tangy flavor to the pickle. I make it without the pieces too but it brings a variety in taste with every bite if you add these.
Once everything is ready, keep a kadhai or wok on high flame and add the oil. Let it heat up nicely and smoke. This is important. Now, lower the flame to minimum. Take out 3-4 tbsp of oil and keep aside.
Add asafoetida and ground garlic, green chili mixture. Stir properly and then add the whole garlic pods too. Mix well and fry it properly on low heat. Keep stirring so that it
doesn’t stick to the wok or burns.
Add the grated ginger and stir properly.
Add turmeric powder, salt and stir. Salt will help it to soften and roast well. All these things like salt, oil, lemon help in preservation and this pickle can last minimum for an year but as it is considered heat generating so eat it in winter time only. 
The garlic soaks up the oil so don’t worry about the quantity. Mustard oil is good for health too especially in winters.
Once the mixture gets nicely roasted and gives out a sondha aroma it will begin to release the oil. At this point add the ground spices. Adjust the amount as per the garlic mixture. Don’t add too much. Add the whole spices too and mix well. 
Stir for a few minutes then add the lemon pieces and mix well. Add black salt at
this point. Be careful of adding both the salts. The plain salt should be less than black salt.
Now add the lemon juice and mix well. We don’t have to fry the mixture now. Just a few stirs and we are done.
Turn off the heat and remove the kadhai or wok on the counter to cool. It must cool completely before bottling.
Once the achaar is cooled spoon it in clean dry airtight glass jars. Add a little bit of the
reserved oil on top and close the lid tightly.
Keep it in sun for 4-5 days. Shake the bottle occasionally so that the ingredients mix well.
The pickle will be ready to eat after sunning. Enjoy it with bhakri or as an accompaniment to any main course.
Always use clean, dry spoon to take out the pickle for serving.
Let me know if you make this. Make your own pickles at home. They are much more healthy and nutritious than the market bought which are laden with too much oil, salt and preservatives.

Meethi Khatai- Kachche Aam ki Launji – Raw Mango Launji – Two Versions


Kachche aam ki launji is a relish that is popular all over North India and thee are many ways to make it. It is a perfect summer side dish to have with parathas, poories, cheelas etc. I sometimes just take a small bowl of it and eat it without any accompaniment. The sweet and tangy taste of kachi ambiya and jaggery spiced up by red chili and simple spices makes it a perfect summer special. While we drool over the many varieties of ripe mangoes and relish them all through the summer we also savor the raw and slightly ripe raw mangoes to makes chunda, achar, takku, murabbaand various chutnies.

Have you ever eaten slightly sweet raw mango slices dusted with cayenne pepper ? If not then you are missing out on something utterly delicious. Do try it as soon as you get hold of the mangoes.

Here I am sharing two versions of this launji. One is what my mom makes. I remember eating this every summer since my childhood. We called it Meethi Khatai . We don’t peel the mangoes in this one like the Rajasthani launji. I also leave the guthali or the mango pit to suck the sweet tangy juices from it.

Both the recipes are for small quantity. You can adjust the ingredients for a larger amount.  These will serve four people.

Here is a simple recipe to make this version of Meethi Khatai or raw mango launji:

Ingredients –

  • Raw Mangoes – 2 ( about 250 gm cubed)
  • Grated or Broken Jaggery – 200 gm
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Black peppercorns – 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Whole dry red chili – 1-2
  • Asafoetida – 2 pinch
  • Salt – to taste
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Vegetable Oil – 1 tablespoon

Steps : 

  1. Wash, peel and cut the mangoes in 1 inch cubes with a part of the hard shell (guthali) intact. Remove the paper thin layer from the guthali pieces by scraping it with the knife or peeling it from one end to the other. ( you can see it in the first picture)
  2. Take a heavy bottom pot and put it on low flame. Add oil and when it gets warm put mustard seeds in it.
  3. Once the seeds start to crackle, add fenugreek seeds and hing. Adding them at this time brings out a nice flavour. Also add the whole red chilli.
  4. Take the pot off the stove so that the spices don’t burn. They should just get slightly roasted and give a nice aroma.
  5. Add the raw mango pieces, salt and turmeric powder. Stir well.
  6. Now add water to the mix. Add 1 1/2 cup first. The pieces should be immersed in the water.
  7. Stir well and let it cook covered on low heat.
  8. After five minutes check for the tenderness of mango pieces. They should not become mushy but the skin should become slightly soft. Al dente to be precise.
  9. Now add the jaggery to it and mix well. Keep the heat to medium low.
  10. Cook it covered for another ten minutes & check for consistency. It shouldn’t be thick. Add one cup of warm water and stir well. There should be enough liquid in the dish. Once the dish cools it will thicken so keep a good liquid margin.
  11. Bring it to boil and turn off the heat. Let it sit for ten minutes on the counter.
  12. Take a little Meethi khatai in a tasting bowl and check for salt and sweetness. You can add more jaggery, salt or red chilli at this time.
  13. The dish should have a slightly sour sweet taste perfectly balanced. Too much sourness or sweetness will kill the flavours.
  14. Your Meethi Khatai is ready to serve.
  15. Serve this delightful dish with hot chapati, paratha, poori or just spoon it in a bowl to relish it just by itself. The tangy sweetness will tickle your taste buds like nothing else.
 
The other version is slightly thicker and uses some other spices too which are mostly the mango pickle spices.

Pickle spice mix

Fennel seeds/ saunf – 2 tablespoon

Nigella seeds / Kalonji – 1/4 teaspoon

Mustard Seeds / Methi Dana – 1 teaspoon

This one tastes completely different from the one above but both these launjis stay for at least a month without refrigeration.
 
The steps to make this launji are same as above. Just add the whole spices when the oil warms up. When the spices begin to crackle  add, red chili,turmeric, salt , mango pieces and a little water. Follow the instructions given above to make a delicious tangy sweet launji. Unlike the first version I do not keep too much liquid in this one. This is more like a pickle.
 

Do try both these recipes and enjoy the goodness of the mangoes till it is in the season.

My Tip: Always choose unblemished raw mangoes. Taste for sourness and adjust the sweetness accordingly. Traditionally it is made a little thin but you can keep the consistency according to your taste.
Do not use mangoes meant for Pickles as their skin is hard and they are too sour.
Eat the meethi khatai a little warm or at room temperature. The other version with pickle spices should be eaten at room temperature. 
You can use sugar but the taste won’t be the same. Do adjust the ingredients as per your taste and the amount you make.
You can peel the mangoes id desired. I like t suck and chew on the flavorful skin so keep it. You can dice them in long thin slices too.
Do try making this delicious tangy sweet relish. If cooked properly this stays for about 6 months in the refrigerator and for about 2 months at room temperature. I make this in small quantity throughout the season and then make two batches for the coming months at the end of the mango season.
I have some more recipes with raw mango. do look for them through the search option.
If you make any of these recipes do let me know your experience.

Recipe – Instant Raw Mango Pickle – Maharashtriyan Style


Summer drips in mangoes in Delhi. The king of fruit floods the markets, homes, bakeries, cafés and restaurants. Everything else becomes a blur. I love the juicy ripe mangoes too but one can’t ignore the raw one. Kachchi kairi.. the sour and sometimes sweet and sour taste of raw mango dusted with salt and cayenne pepper.  I love to use it as refreshing aam panna, or sometimes add to the daal or veggies giving them just the right tang, or make chatpati chutnies and chunda  or make manhi,  a Himachali side dish.

I love kairi cha lonche or in simple words raw mango pickle. I like all the variations of the pickle from the delicious panjabi one fragrat with fennel seeds and kalonji to the aromatic north Indian one(a speciality from kayath kitchens). This particular recipe is from my maternal grandmother’s kitchen. My aaji tought it to mom who in turn passed it to us.

It is instant and has all the right flavours. One can keep it in the fridge for a month or just make fresh small quantities regularly during the season.

Goes beautifully with parathas, simple varan bhaat ( dal &rice) , mathris or just about anything. 🙂

In all the Indian houses one can find the traditional pottery pickle jars (Barani) kept in the sun with fresh pickles or lined up in the kitchen with lip smacking pickles of various sorts. They were made in summers when the heat from the sun was strongest. The UV rays killed unwanted bacteria. The high temperature provided environment for ‘low temperature pasteurization’, and diffusion of flavors in the oil.

I have fond memories of pickle making at home. The whole process was like poetry. Most of the time women from neighbourhood would gather and pickle the fruits or veggies with careful precision and expertise. It was a occasion for sisterhood bonding where the younger generation learned the art of pickling under the watchful eyes of the elder matriarchs. Strictly prohibited, the children would often linger around for a chance to steal a little of the flavourful spicy treat. The main barni was handled by ony one person. Small portions of the pickle were taken out in smaller jars/bottles for daily consumption. Everytime a pickles jar opened the whole house got filled with the aroma of various spices.

There was nothing instant in those pickles and they stayed carefully preserved for years. The pickle was always served on the top left side of the plate and without it the meal would be considered incomplete. making, preserving and serving spicy, tangy, deliciously aromatic pickles full of flavours is an integral part of the indian traditional cuisine.

In these times when everyone is in a rush, the art of pickling is slowly fading away. People rely on buying them from the stores or using the pre mix pickle masalas which isn’t bad but there is a certain joy in making your own fresh pickle. Here is a simple recipe that anybody can use and it is sumptuous.

For this no fuss, foolproof pickle you need

4 raw medium size mangoes

Yellow mustard (peeli sarso dali hui )- 2 teaspoon (slightly dry roasted and coarsely ground)

Fenugreek (methi) seeds – 1 teaspoon

Asafoetida (Hing) – 1/2 teaspoon

Turmeric Powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Red chili powder – 2 teaspoon

Salt – to taste (slightly dry roasted)

Oil – 1/2 cup

For the tempering

Oil (Mustard, sesame oil) –  1 tablespoon

Mustard seeds – 1 full teaspoon

Asafoetida – 1/2 teaspoon

 To prepare the mangoes –

Choose hard and raw mangoes. Wash and pat dry them. You can peel them or just cut them into little pieces with the peel.

Add some salt to the cut mango pieces mix well and keep aside.

*Always use dry utensils for making or storing pickles and keep the pickle away from moisture.Keep your hands wiped dry.

To make the pickle

In a small pan heat the oil till it smokes and turn off the gas. Let the oil cool till it becomes slightly warm.

Meanwhile from the same oil , take a tablespoon full and heat in the same pan, add fenugreek seeds and asafoetida powder and the moment seeds turn slightly brown turn off the gas. Grind this mix of Hing and methi seeds coarsely.

In a shallow plate take the prepared yellow mustard, turmeric power, chili powder and add the mustard,Hing, oil ground mix. Rub all the ingredients together till all everything is mixed well.

Add this mixture to the mango pieces and stir will. Make sure that all the pieces are well coated with the masala mixture.

For the tempering take another tablespoon from the oil we had prepared and heat it. Add mustard seeds and the moment the seeds splutter add hing and pour it over the mango mixture. Add the remaining warm oil. Mix well.

Spoon the pickle into an air tight bottle. It is ready to eat.

This pickle stays in the fridge for 15-20 days, that is if you can resist the temptation to eat it with almost everything. 🙂

Alternately, you can also heat oil, add asafoetida, mustard seeds, yellow mustard dal, roasted fenugreek powder, red chili powder, turmeric, salt and then mix them well. Turn off the gas before you start mixing the ingredients. Add mango pieces and once at room temperature, spoon in the air tight bottle.

Roasting of dry salt and other ingredients ensures that the pickle stays good for longer period.

You can use this pickle instantly with your favorite dishes. You can ajust the ingredients according to the quantity of mango pieces.

Do try and let me know how it tasted.

Homemade Sweet and Spicy Karonda Pickle with Green Chillies and Garlic


Here is the recipe for the Karonda Jam that I make. Do try this too.

These days mom is making mango pickles of all kind so I decided to just indulge in Fruit preserves and other fruit based desserts but the sight of gorgeous Karondas at a local vegetable vender was enough to temp me to buy some. As I had done a recipe for Jam earlier I decided to share my version of Karonda pickle with hot green chillies and pods of garlic. Easy to make and ready to eat, this pickle can be made fresh or can be kept for at lease two weeks. I prefer to make small quantity through out the season.

800px-karonda_fruit1

Karonda is a berry fruit that is said to have originated in the Himalayas and is found across north India and many other places across the globe. It is basically a tropical fruit. A sour and acidic fruit with no sweetness. It is full of calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Iron and other nutrients and is used as blood sugar stabilizer and for many other ailments. It freezes well and can also be kept in the fridge for at least a week.

The recipe for Karonda pickle includes fresh green chillies and garlic pods, both ingredients are full of health benefits and enhance the taste of the pickle.

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Recipe :

Ingredients

Karonda – 200 gm

Green chillies – 3-4 medium size

Garlic pods – 4/5 big ones

coriander seeds – 11/2 teaspoon

Cumin Seeds/Zeera – 1/2 teaspoon

Fenugreek Seeds/ Methi dana – 1/2 Teaspoon

Nigella Sativa / Kaluanji – 1/4 teaspoon

mustard seeds -1/4 teespoon

Fennel Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

turmeric Powder – 1/2 teaspoon

coriander Powder- 1/2 teaspoon

Red Chilli Powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Sugar- 1-2  teaspoon (optional)

mustard Oil – 3 table-spoon

 

Method

Wash and wipe clean Karondas. Take fruit which is not bruised or damaged.

Slit the fruit in longitudinal halves and discard the seeds.

Place it in water. Cut green chillies to any size you wish.

Heat a heavy bottom pan and add mustard oil to it. Bring it to smoking point and turn off the gas. Add mustard, nigella and cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add fenugreek seeds and let it turn a slight golden in color.

Dry roast coriander seeds and fennel and grind them coarsely. Some people prefer to grind them smooth.

Add the chopped green chillies and garlic pods slit in halves along with the karonda fruit to the crackling mixture and stir well. Keep the flame low.

Add turmeric powder, and other spices along with salt.

Stir so that the fruit is covered properly with the spices. Add the sugar. Stir again and turn off the gas.

Let the mixture cool at room temperature and then bottle it in an air tight jar.

Your pickle is ready to eat.

Instant Carrot Pickle – Recipe


Winters are here and the market is flooded with red sweet carrots. One can do so much with them- toss in salads, pickle them, make kanji, carrot preserve or mouth watering gajar halwa, mix with potato, fresh green peas or any seasonal vegetable to make a healthy veggie, blend in soups or just wash, peel and munch on them. Full of healthy nutrients carrots are everyone’s favorites. They are packed with Vitamin A,  Vitamins C & B6, copper, folic acid, thiamine and magnesium.

This instant pickle can be had within a day of making it. One can add a few slit fresh green chilies to it if desired. It would give the pickle a beautiful red and green texture.

Usually this pickle can stay up to a week in the fridge. I make small quantity of fresh pickle as the carrots are cheap and easily available all through winter months.

So, let us embark on this tangy spicy carroty journey 😀

Ingredients :

1/2 kg Medium Size Carrots

1 1/2 teaspoon salt ( to taste)

2 teaspoon full coarsely ground mustard seeds

1 teaspoon Red Chili Powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/8 teaspoon asafitida

2 table-spoon lemon juice

2 table-spoon Mustard

Method:

Wash and peel the carrots under fresh running water. Pat dry them and cut into 2 inch long thin julienne.  Place a kitchen napkin or kitchen towel on a tray and arrange the carrot julienne on it to dry. Make sure that not a single drop of water remains or the pickle will go bad. I sometimes pat them with damp cloth to clean instead of washing.

You can leave it over night or for instant pickle just keep in sun for two hours or so. Cover it with thin muslin cloth to prevent any dust particles settling on the carrots.

 

IMG_20180307_125018

Once the carrots are absolutely dry put them in a glass bowl. Add all the ingredients one by one except the oil. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon and mix well.

Mix properly. (At each stage make sure your hands and the utensils you use are clean and dry.)

Heat mustard oil in a heavy bottom pan till it begins to smoke. Turn off the flame and let it come to a warm temperature.

(if you are using Olive Oil then there is no need to heat it. Just add it along with other ingredients in the bowl and mix well).

Add all the ingredients to it and stir well.

 

Let the pickle cool properly.

Take a glass or stone jar. Wipe it clean and spoon the pickle in it.

 

Keep the pickle in the sun for a day and it is ready to eat.

This mustard spiked carrot pickle goes well with anything from curd rice to parathas and even sandwiches or almost anything. You can make it fresh and toss it in the salad too but use only olive oil dressing for it then.

Preserve the colors of winter in the jar and open the lid to brighten any dull morning.