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Monday, August 07, 2023

Lemon Dates Pickle | Naranga Eenthappazham Achar

Lemons were my first tasted pickles in life, and I think most of the Indians have more or less tasted this pickle. Mom always had a batch of lemon pickle freshly prepared at home. Over the years, I too brought up the same tradition in my family and have a lemon pickle ready at hand always. This is the lemon pickle frequently prepared at home and the vella naranga achar prepare for sadya. I had tasted the sweet and sour lime pickle from one of my North Indian friend and liked it, that used sugar in the pickle. Then I tried the nimbu ka khatta meeta pickle at home, which is nice in its own way. Here dates are used to sweeten the pickle and dates adds a nice thick blend in the pickle. This pickle taste best after one week of preparation when the lemon skin is softened nicely with the pickled dates masala. 

This pickle must have the sure balance of all the three predominant flavours to taste best. Use fresh lemons to prepare this pickle to avoid any bitterness, and follow the step-by-step instructions to reduce bitterness.I don't generally use vinegar in my pickles and use either lemon juice or make without vinegar and keep refrigerated with enough oil floating on top of the pickle. However, in this pickle I have used vinegar. These pictures are taken two weeks after pickling, and so the lemon pieces are very well blended with the pickle spices and flavours.

Why use vinegar in this pickle?
Vinegar helps to soften the skin of the lemon pieces faster and prolongs the shelf life of the pickle.

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Preparation time ~ 15–20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ approx 800 g of pickle
lemon 1/2 kg (12-13)
dates 1 cup tightly packed, deseeded
garlic sliced 2 tbsp
ginger sliced 2 tbsp
green chilli 3 cut
curry leaves 2 sprigs
mustard seeds 1tsp
fenugreek seeds 1/3 tsp
kashmiri chilli powder 4 tbsp
hot chilli powder 1.5 tbsp
turmeric powder 1/2 Tsp
roasted fenugreek powder 1/3 Tsp
asafoetida(hing/ kayam) powder 1/3 Tsp
salt 2 tbsp
gingelly oil 6-7 tbsp or 1/3 cup
vinegar 1/4 cup
water 1/2 cup-3/4 cup

  • Wash the lemons under running water and drain water completely. Boil water in a pan and add the lemons in it. Boil for exactly 3–4 minutes, switch off and drain. Leave to cool completely before cutting.
  • Cut the lemons in 6-8 quarter pieces or as you wish (I cut it smaller to help the lemon skin faster). Discard any seeds when cut. Add to a bowl and add 1.5 tbsp salt and give a quick mix, leave for 0 minutes.
  • Heat a pan and add gingelly oil. When hot, add mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. Splutter mustard seeds and fry fenugreek lightly.
  • Add the sliced garlic, ginger followed by green chillies and curry leaves. Fry until crisp or sauté 3 minutes. 
  • Add all spice powders on low flame and sauté without burning. To this, add 1/4 cup vinegar and give a mix.
  • Add the 1/2 cup water, bring to a boil. Add the deseeded dates and give a quick mix. Add 1/4 cup water and cook for 2–3 minutes, or until softened. Add salt 1/2 tsp.
  • Slide the cut lemon pieces with the juice. Give a quick mix and cook for 2–3 minutes. Switch off flame.
  • Cool completely and store in clean, dry airtight containers. Leave on counter top at room temperature for a week for the lemon pieces to get softened. Refrigerate thereafter.

* I generally use gingelly oil for all my pickles. You can use any preferable oil, but I feel pickles in gingelly oil lasts longer and tastes better.
* The dates must be of soft variety so that the soaking can be avoided and can be cooked easily.
*Use majdool or sukhari dates.I have used sukhari dates, which is very sweet and doesn't need added sugar.


1 comment:

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Have never seen or had anything like must be very appetizing.