Limes-dates and ginger preserved into a sweet sour and hot pickle. I know this combination makes you salivate immediately. It does so to many of us. This one is a favorite pickle of many of my friends too. A must have condiment in your pantry.
Most Indian homes have a jar of some pickle on the dining table, be it a hot and spicy kind or a sweet and sour pickle. I have seen some families where the pickle jar on the dining table is refilled almost everyday. We don't eat much pickles but somehow I took fancy to making them and gifting them to my friends and family every now and then. Sometimes someone would just describe a pickle to me and ask me to make it and I would be tempted enough to recreate those flavors. This pickle happened when the husband was remembering a pickle that my research guide used to make and gift us. Now that she is no more and her gifted bottle was over a couple of years ago, I decided to make the pickle myself. After all, this was one of those favorite lime pickles we used to love with our poori subzi or paratha meals.
Recently, someone in the family was not well and her taste buds were feeling numb after having a course of antibiotics, I gave her this pickle to eat with her light khichdi. She was so happy to have this that I decided to pack a small jar for her. Then I was reminded of a few pictures I had taken while making it last year. And here is the recipe with a few recent pictures of the pickle. A sweet and sour pickle with a little hint of heat, it is one of those pickles you would lick the spoon for.
Indian limes cut into 8 parts or smaller bits 1 kilo (seeds removed)
golden raisins 100 gm
ginger chopped into thick julienne 500 gm
red chilly powder 50-60 gm or as per taste
black pepper powder 1 tsp (you can add about 20-30 whole peppercorns if you like)
salt 300 gm
kala namak (pink salt) 50 gm
sugar 100 gm
asafoetia powder 1 tsp (use lesser if using the pure resin)
Chop the limes on a wooden chopping board and keep a draining tray beneath so the juices are not wasted. Collect the juice and let the asafoetida dissolve in it.
Meanwhile chop the dates too and mix everything in a wide container preferably glass but plastic would also work as this pickle would not require heating.
Keep the container covered on a kitchen shelf, no need to keep it in the sun everyday. Just make sure you give the pickle a good stir every week or so, using a clean spatula. Within a month the dates would soak the juices and the limes will be softer. Pectin will be released from the limes and the syrup will be thicker, looking like jelly.
Fill it into sterilised jars to last a long time. This pickle keeps well for 2 years or more, it will keep getting jelly like and flavors would become more like Indian digestive chooran goli or sonth chutney as the pickle ages.
Best served with fried snacks like kachoris, pakodas and pooris etc. since the pickle has undertones of a sonth chutney. Even khichdi meals would welcome this pickle if someone is feeling under the weather. This is a quick pick me up kinda pickle.
Try this on crackers served on a cheeseboard. You will be surprised to the instant popularity of this sweet sour and lightly hot pickle..almost like a spicy fruit preserve.
Now tell me how do you like this rubber seal jar. I have been using glass jars of Yera for a very long time but ordered these from Devnow online to try a better quality of pickle jars that are not available in markets normally. Although I am wary of the rubber seal not being sterilised properly. But these jars are good even without the rubber seal.
Talking of online shopping, I am more comfortable now than ever, there are so many options to choose from and so many deals you can avail. Try this site CupoNation for convenient online shopping. I know you would find something you like and something that you don't get in markets around your place.