Lemon Pickle - 7, Sweet and Hot - Mamta's
Nimbu ka Khatta-Meetha-Teekha Achar
Indian lemons are what you would call limes in the West. The thick skinned, yellow lemons of the West are not grown there. Indian limes can vary from completely green to completely yellow. The good quality ones have a papery thin skin, hence the name 'kagazi=like paper’ and 'nimbu/neembu =lemon’. Western lemons can also be used to make this pickle.
It is a quick pickle to make, but takes a couple of months to mature. It lasts a long time, many, many years. It is said that older a lime pickle, better it is! Just make sure that you use a dry spoon or fork to serve from the jar. This amount will make and average jam jar full.
400 gm. limes or Indian lemons
3 tsp. salt. More can be added at any stage, if it seems less.
1/2 tsp. asafoetida or hing powder (optional)
2 tsp. hot chilli powder, adjust to taste
1 tsp. black pepper, coarsely ground
100 gm. fine sugar or sweetener
If limes are waxed, scrub them under hot water. Let them dry overnight. Any water will make the pickle mouldy.
Slice them into thin discs and then halve or quarter each disc. You can cut small wedges too.
Leave them on a towel again, to get rid of any water. Water will make the pickle deteriorate quickly.
Place all ingredients except sugar in a bowl and mix well. Transfer to a sterilised jar, close lid and place on a sunny window ledge for 3-4 weeks.
Shake the bottle every day, to mix all the juices that collect at the base of the jar.
Once the skin has softened, add sugar and mix by shaking the jar. Leave in the sun for a further 2 weeks.
This pickle will take a couple of months to be fully ready.
Also see Pickle and Chutney Selection.