Lemon Pickle - 10, With Ginger & Szechuan Peppers
Lemon, Ginger and Szechuan Pepper Pickle
I made this pickle one day when I was going away on a holiday and had a few fresh lemons, as well as a large piece of ginger root left in my fridge. I had a pack of coarsely ground Szechuan peppers that I had bought the day before, so I added those for an extra zing. You can add as much or as little you pepper like. Here I have made it in the style of Preserved Lemons, simply sun ripened with salt and Szechua pepper. Makes one 450 gm. jam jar approximately.
4 lemons (nimbu)
5-6 inch root ginger
2 tbsp. salt, I used coarse sea salt
1 tsp. coarse ground Szechuan pepper or coarse ground chilli (chilli flakes)
Wash and dry lemons thoroughly by rubbing with a towel. They are sometimes waxed.
Slice lemons into small wedges. Peel and thinly shred/slice ginger. Leave both to dry on a towel, either in a sunny place or overnight. You can dry them in an oven, at minimum temperature, for a couple of hours. Drying is important, as any hint of water will make the pickle go mouldy.
Place both in a bowl along with salt and Szechuan Pepper.
Pack tightly in a sterile jar. Close the lid.
Leave on a sunny window sill for a month or two. Turn the jar up-side-down every couple of days, that all the pieces get equal soaking in the collecting juice at the bottom.
Lemons slowly change colour and becomes light brownish and the skin becomes soft. When the pickle is ready, the skin breaks easily when pressed with a finger. This takes 6-8 weeks or longer.
It can be served with all kind of foods, Indian and non-Indian, in sandwiches, in cooking vegetables Bhajies, served with crackers and cheese.
Older the lemon pickles, better it tastes.
I sometimes add mashed pickle to vegetables bhajis towards the end of cooking. This may be a good pickle to do that.