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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Instant Red Chili Pickle

I, being the firstborn of my parents, my dear mom was always very anxious to send me to different classes that she never had a chance to attend when she was growing up. I owe it all to her and my dad for all the inspiration for cooking and other hobbies and for trying different things with available ingredients in my pantry and available tools in my kitchen. I basically started cooking meals for family when I was 8 years old. When I was 12 my mom signed me up for food preservation class, from which l learned so much about principles of preservation and to how to make preserves like Jam, Jellies and pickles etc.

I grew up in North India and most of the pickles that I love are from North, and this one  being my favorite pickle. Other day I found fresh red chili peppers in one of the local middle eastern grocer. I only bought few and thought I haven't made this pickle for ages since I was 12 with my mom sp  I must try it. I recently had this pickle in India when I was visiting a friend of mine in Bangalore.
I remembered how good it tasted and how much I loved it, especially with Paratha.  I happened to make paneer and cabbage filled parathas for lunch today and I thought this will go well with it.
However I did not have patience to wait for one or two weeks for it to be ready to eat....I wanted it now !!
I am so proud of my self for making this instant pickle, which normally back home you will have to wait to consume and enjoy until the peppers become somewhat soft after few days. This one I just made it and we enjoyed it instantly. I used a secret tool that normally you would never think of while making a pickle.

Here are the ingredients I used:
  • 6 large red chilies, (some I cut in halves and took out the veins and some I left whole with just  slit in the middle as I was going to stuff them with the vein intact as I wanted them to be spicy.
  • 1 tables spoon of coriander seeds
  • 4 tables spoon of Fennel seeds (Sauf)
  • 1 table spoon of Fenugreek seeds (methi) I had bought crushed one from indian store, but you can use whole seeds.

  • 2 tables spoon of  split crushed yellow mustard  seed mixed with salt and cayenne pepper I had this in my pantry already mixed.  (you can use 2 tables spoon of yellow mustard seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon of Cumin seeds
  • 4 tablespoon of Mango powder
  • 3 teaspoon of salt of to taste
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil divided in to two portion of 1/2 cup each. (In India I used Mustard oil, but since you will see I added mustard seeds powder to heated vegetable oil to give this flavor.
  • Juice for 1-2  fresh lime

  • 1 teaspoon of asfeotida. (hing)
  • 2 teaspoon of turmeric powder

  • Dry roast all the whole seeds: fennel, coriander, cumin, Fenugreek until they emit nice toasty aroma.
  • Turn the heat off and let them cool.Coarsely grind the roasted seeds in food processor.
  •  Heat 1/2 cup of oil when oil is hot,  turn the heat off, add mustard seeds coarse powder (I had a ready made  mix cayenne pepper and salt)
  • Also add asfoetida.

  • Mix well and then all add rest of the spices including turmeric powder, salt, lime juice  and mango powder.
  • Mix well with spoon as the mixture is going to be hot.

  • Generously fill the slit chili pepper with the mixed spices and place them in a glass or microwave safe bowl.

  • Once all the spice mix is gone pour the rest of half cup of oil in the same pan and heat the oil and carefully pour it all over the peppers. 

  • Now at this stage you can put these pepper in a glass jar and wait for them to become soft over time, or do what I did.
  • I placed them in microwave uncovered in the bowl and cooked them on high power, for 1 and half  min, then took them out and turn them over.
  • I put them back in microwave and cooked on high power for 1 more min.
  • And Wallah !! they were ready to eat. soft and yet crunchy.
  • Let them cool completely before putting them in a glass jar.
  • They are ready to eat.
  • Place the jar with remaining peppers in refrigerator until completely consumed.

Yum !!
You can serve them with Naan, or  Roti or with Paratha and plain yogurt like I did.
Wish you could get the whiff of the aroma in my kitchen !
It smells appetizing and delish !!

Enjoy !!

Recipe by Surekha adapted from her mom's Mrs. Kasturben's recipe.

Photographs by Surekha.

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