November 20, 2008
Didn't I put u guys in a pickle? Sorry, I have all these silly puns rolling around so couldn't resist. Wonderful guesses as usual.. only Sig got it right.. wonder how..she always does get it right!!Mandira followed suit but Happy cook's "Cake" and Srivalli's "whatever" were the best of the lot!!
Well this is the story of a pickle..I don't make pickles..I get them made by my family. Else, there is an entire aisle in the Indian store dedicated to all kinds of pickles.. Mother's , Grandma's, Uncles....even Double Horses, though they are not related to anyone.
Mishmash started it..with her munthiri pickle post. Last week we had a Biryani meal and sorely missed that essential thing called Karakka (Date) Pickle. Now those who are used to Biryani with that tangy sweet and spicy pickle will know how incomplete it feels without it and those who haven't tried it with biryani or pulav.. well, what to say..you are missing something.
Usually there is always a batch of the date pickle with carrots or with limes left over from my mom's last visit but now we were out. So I went to the Indian store to get Double Horse Lemon-Date Pickle (which is really good) and kept staring at the bottle I picked up..For some reason, it was all dusty and the contents looked cloudy and weird.. it was a revelation...I got transported back to Calicut..during the elementary school we visited a science show in the Medical college and saw some real horrors encapsulated in bottles!! Not to gross anyone with any further description, but suffices to say I was ready to make pickles at home.:)
RP has a collection of pickles for those to inclined to make them, so I decided to make her lemon-date pickle. So another day goes by and I raided my fridge and found 3 lemons.. not too old so will do..fresh is of course better. Very simple recipe and started out frying it with my last bit of Idhayam Nallenna (sesame oil) and salting them and I left them in the sun for 2 days...by then my Biryani was over!!:(
Anyway not to be stopped, I carried on..all this is in between my latest bout of studying..and when I had to do the second round of seasoning, I had no ginger.. so drove to the store and got ginger. So at each break I took, I would get back to the pickle. Got ginger so after cutting them, I started searching for the garlic. When I looked in the fridge now, my garlic had suddenly finished!! Argh!!! so borrowed garlic from my friend who I see more than the Indian store guy anyway and got back. Got everything now and then remembered that my nallenna had finished! I really should start making lists before going out. It seemed all the forces were against me.
Still didn't give up... everything went in along with olive oil.. I used light olive oil and it tasted just fine.. even nice, I would say...and then it sat on my window sill basking in the sun.. It looked a little less oily , so I topped it with a little olive oil to prevent air influx. Even though I had only 3 lemons, I added 12 dates and half Kashmiri chili powder, half hot red chili powder.
RP said one week so I waited, and I waited..shaking it, turning it, and finally after one week , it got opened.. and this is the result. It's really good even if I say so. The pickle is sweet, spicy and sour..maybe next time, I will put in more dates. So if you like more sweetness, add more dates and less lemon. Now pickles are not good for anyone, with their salt and spice and oil and all these bad in it..but a little bit of this home made one and you might start finding excuses to pass it as health food.
The recipe is exactly as RP wrote so I am just directing you there.