Friday, May 06, 2011

Lime Pickle

This is an ungodly spicy pickle. I say that as a warning, and to point out that you can of course, adjust the peppers to your taste. Mr. ETB really loves this sort of thing with a curry, so I put that dozen limes I picked up for .19 cents to use. Really, .19 cents at the Asian market that just opened off of Cass in Omaha. Go around the corner to Hy-Vee and they are .89 cents each. Guess where I buy my limes? Mint and basil are a bargain there as well.

It will take a month for these to be at their best. They get stored in the fridge, so the whole canning bit can be skipped, but I did sterilise my jars for ten minutes in boiling water because I'm a nerd that way.

This pickle is best with thin skinned limes, but the others will do if that's all you can lay your hands on. Feel free to adjust the spices, omit at will, and play around with the recipe as you like. The basic proportions of oil to limes is what really matters-all else is a matter of taste.

Makes 2 quarts of lime pickle.

You Will Need:

12 limes cut into 8 wedges
1/2 cup coarse salt
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons cumin seed
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
3 teaspoons mustard seeds (I used yellow, but brown is OK)
5 chopped green chillies (or, if you don't want to screw around with this, use chili flakes to taste)
4 cloves garlic, sliced
a 2 inch piece of peeled ginger, grated
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups oil (I used soybean, but anything you like will do)
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Cut the limes and toss with salt in a large non-reactive bowl. Set aside.

Combine turmeric, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, and mustard seeds. Fry a few minutes in a dry pan, then grind. I use a dedicated coffee grinder for spices, keeping chillies to their own grinder. I find this works best, and I have an assortment of them for various tasks. You can almost always find nearly-new onces in thrift stores for a couple bucks. this is money really well spent.

In the tablespoon of oil, fry the chillies, ginger, and garlic for a few minutes until they begin to brow. Reduce heat, add the limes and salt, oil, sugar, and ground spices. Mix well and simmer gently over low heat for ten minutes.

Carefully pack into sterilised jars and seal. Store in fridge. The pickle takes about a month to mature. It should last about 8 months.

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