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Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Jathikka Achar | Jathikka Thodu Achar | Nutmeg Fruit Pickle

Jathikka (Nutmeg) is a popular spice of Kerala which has a incredibly strong and distinctive aroma.We have plenty of nutmeg trees in our backyard at home and these are in season now. And so its a natural phenomenon for us to think ways to use all parts of this organic natural fruit available in plenty. Once the nutmeg seed ripens and is ready, it breaks open in two halves and the seed just pops out with the mace tightly wrapped over the seed.The nutmeg seed and its outer red flower like covering i.e. mace(see pic below) is used as spice and so has market value too. But the outer fleshy fruit part of the nutmeg isn't used much for sale though it has the same strong flavors like the seed. We end up using a few in pickle and making chutneys and the rest is just left out. I have heard we can make wine with jathikka and am very eager to try it out. Hopefully if I get hold of some fresh fruit before the season ends will definitely try it out. This pickle unlike other pickles is good for digestion and stomach ailments. It has a spicy tinge but believe me once the pickle sits for two days to blend flavors then the spice or the strong flavor is considerably reduced. Do try it out if you get hold of some fresh jathikka thodu or nutmeg fruit.

Preparation time~ 20 minutes
Cooking time~ 15 minutes
Serves a jam bottle
jathikka thodu (thondu) / nutmeg fruit 10-12
garlic sliced 2 tbsp
ginger chopped or julienne 2tbsp
chilly powder 2 tbsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
asafoetida/kayam podi 1/2 tsp
fenugreek powder /uluva podi 1/4 tsp
curry leaves a sprig
gingelly oil/ nallenna 3tbsp
mustard seeds 1 tsp
*vinegar 2tbsp
salt 2 tsp

  • Wash the nutmeg fruit under running water. Now leave to drain water or wipe with a kitchen towel. Peel the skin of nutmeg fruit lightly. Remove the seed (nutmeg and the mace covering. They are not used to make the pickle. Only the thodu or outer yellow cover is used to make this pickle.Chop the fruit in small cube size pieces. Keep aside.

  • Now,heat gingelly oil in a pan.Splutter mustard seeds. Add in chopped ginger,garlic and curry leaves. Saute until its slightly golden brown.
  • Add in the spice powders on low flame and saute till the raw smell diappears. Add in half cup water and bring the mix to a boil. Add in salt and wait till the mixture thickens lightly.
  • Slide in the chopped jathikka and combine well. Cover and simmer for 4-5 mins on low flame till the masala is well coated and jathikka pieces are wilted slightly. 
  • Switch off flame and add lime juice if using or vinegar as mentioned. Cool completely before storing. Store in air tight glass containers.
  • The flavors seeps in well only after 2-3 days so its better to use after 3-4 days or more. The jathikka pieces tends to soften as it sits.

* I use a mix of the hot chilly powder and kashmiri chilly powder in the ratio 1:2. That way it balances the color and heat.
* Peeling the skin of nutmeg fruit is optional. The skin is a bit harder so may take longer to cook. So I just peeled.
* I used one lime's juice instead of vinegar.  Using lime definitely replaces distilled vinegar but this pickle only stays good in refrigerator and not outside.


Gloria Fernandes said... Best Blogger Tips

New to me..must be absolutely yumm

great-secret-of-life said... Best Blogger Tips

this is new to me .. sounds interesting

Ruxana Gafoor said... Best Blogger Tips

Never tried pickles with Jathika,sounds interesting :)