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Monday, July 16, 2018

Maduramulla Naranga Achar | Nimbu Ka Khatta Meetha Achar | Sweet Lemon Pickle

It was raining cats and dogs over the weekend and so schools are closed today. The weather is much better today but still with some drizzle and no trace of sun yet. The forecast says it may rain for another day. Anyways,kids are happy to get an unplanned leave as July was a month with no highlighted red days in calendar. My younger one says finally the clouds are here to shed some sweat to favour us for holidays,ha ha.
Coming back to today's post- Lemon pickles are always so appetizing and no other pickle replaces the flavors of this wonderful fruit. However, I can't enjoy lemon pickle much and so I always find ways to reduce the sour flavors in the pickle too. This particular recipe of lemon pickle is perfect in that way and the skin of lemon softens up so well that you can enjoy a lot. This pickle is more on the sweeter side. This pairs perfectly with Thalassery chicken biriyani like the dates pickle(Eenthapazham achar). December and January months are perfect to make this pickle as the skin of lemons available at this time of the year are thinner compared to those during the year. This is a north indian style pickle and there are many variations of making this pickle but I have adapted this recipe from here and here; slightly adapted to our tastes too. The lemon needs to soften and so leaving the cut pieces mixed with salt helps to fasten the process. Do try this out if you love a sweet tangy lime pickle, am sure this is a different pickle all together.

                                         

Preparation time~ 20-30 days
Cooking time~ 10 minutes
Serves~ 200 gms of pickle roughly
Ingredients
lemon /naranga 250 gms
sugar 250 gms
garam masala 1/2 tsp
chilly powder 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/3 tsp(optional)
cloves 2-3
asafoetida /kayam podi 1/2 tsp
salt 2 tbsp

               
                                     

Method

  • Wash and wipe the lemons with a towel or paper towel. Cut in four or eight quarter pieces. Add this to a jar and add salt to this. Leave it in sunlight or a warm place for about 20- 30 days(some recipes call for adding 1/2 cup lemon juice to this mix but I haven't added as the lemons tend to ooze out te juice once it starts to soften).Gently mix it up with a clean dry spoon every fourth day. This will help in uniform softening of the lemons. After 20-25 days, the lemon ooze out water and the lemons tend to soften(see pic right).



  • After the lemons tend to soften,heat a pan add the lemons,sugar,spice powders, clove. Mix it up and simmer the flame till the sugar melts down and mixes up with the lemons. The sauce thickens and the lemon softens more. Switch off flame and leave to cool completely.




  • Store in air tight glass jars once after cooling. This pickle stays good more than a year. But as the pickle sits the lemon skin is nicely softened and the colour of the sauce turns brownish like caramelized sugar.
NOTES
* You can use black salt, rock salt to make this pickle but I have used only regular salt.
* You may also add big cardamom(elaichi) a small tsp powdered, black pepper corns(kurumulakku), carom seeds(ajwain), cumin seeds(jeerkam/ jeera), dry ginger powder(chukku podi). But I refrained from adding as I was a bit apprehensive about the acceptance of these tastes in pickle by my family.
* It better to remove the seeds from lemon as you cut or else the seeds fall off in the sauce once the pickle is made. I didn't do this step and I felt should have been done.
* You can even use jaggery instead of sugar in that case use 300 gms of melted and strained jaggery syrup.
* Its always better to store in glass bottles. Refrain from using plastic bottles especially when storing sour items or pickles.
* Adding turmeric powder is optional as the turmeric doesn't taste very good in sweet pickles.

MORE LEMON PICKLE RECIPES
* Naranga Achar(Kerala Style)
* Vella Naranga Achar 
* Vadukapuli Achar(Wild Lemon Pickle)