Whether it’s the humble dal- chawal ( lentil and rice) or the paratha, ( Indian bread) , no Indian meal can be complete without a dollop of pickle!
At the very outset, let me explain that I not a pickle expert, but every time I would pass by the vegetable vendor, I would eye those ruby-red chillies and would be drawn to them. Finally, I mustered up enough courage to buy some six chillies for my debut experiments in pickle making!
I wanted to exchange notes with my neighbor….pickle?She screwed her nose. So I thought it would be best to utilize the google power and finally I came to an unintimidating recipe for the mother of all pickles…aka Stuffed Red Chillies Pickle! Got the recipe approved by my mother in law, exchanged notes, and once I had a go from my mom in law, all hell broke loose in my kitchen!
Mustard oil, vinegar…. rush for grinding the spices, sterilizing the jars…I was twirling on my toes like my li’l grand-daughter, when she pirouettes for her ballet!
So this recipe is for all those first timers, taking their first leap in the art of pickle making! Believe me, it’s doable and worth finger licking! If I can do it, so can you.
Before I go any further, let me add that traditionally, Indian pickles are made in Mustard Oil, but you can always go for Olive Oil. Also, you can play up with the spice quotient, to suit your taste.
Try the recipe and do let me know how you like it. As for me, here I am sitting with my fingers crossed, eyeing my shiny red chillies swimming in a sea of mustard oil….well, as they say, the proof of the pickle is in the eating and for that I have to wait!
Red chillies 500 grams
Mustard oil 2 tb spoons (plus 1/4 cup for later use)
White vinegar 1 tbsp
Salt 2 tsp ( by mistake my image says tbsp, so do forgive me for that lapse)
Turmeric 3 tsp
Fennel seeds powder 1 tsp
Mustard powder 3 tb sp
Roasted fenugreek seeds 1 tbsp
Mango or amchoor powder 2 tsp or more
Asafoetida 1/4 tsp
(You can adjust the seasoning according to your taste.)
Wash and dry the chillies.
Remove the top part, and slit the chillies longitudinally.
Remove the seeds, use a spoon to scrape. These seeds to be mixed later in the stuffing.
In the meantime, make the oil, smoking hot, then cool it down. Mix in the spices, oil and vinegar. Stuff the chillies with the spice mixture.
Transfer the chillies to a glass jar, add remaining oil.
It would take at least a week for flavors to infuse.
Don’t forget to give a shake to your jar, every time you pass by your kitchen’s window sill.
Enjoy the spicy flavors of India!
( inspired by www. nishamadhulika.com )