Lemon & Chilli Pickle Oil Free

Lemon Chili Pickle – Oil free

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So, the times are tough, most of the world population is indoors scared of this man made virus that has gone rogue. This is also a great time to explore the creativity from the fresh harvests from your garden, something that I really love to try my hands on. Remember these other pickles of mine which I had shard earlier.  Remember the Bhavnagri Mirch ka achaar though it’s not as sour as the Cranberry & baby Corn pickle  since on any day cranberry is far pinchy than a fresh lemon which turned out to be a hit lip smacker earlier. In late spring, some chilies and lemon came up in the garden. Neither is a complete dish so I coupled them to conjure a yummy pickle with simple spices. And mind you, I kept it oil free to retain mild crunchiness in the pickle. I like the pickle this way far better than the softened greasy ones. 

So read on, am sure you’d be tempted to  lay your hands on these simple veggies from the nearest grocer even if you don’t find them all at home right now. In a matter of 5 days, be ready to smack your lips with this yummy pickle !

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : I think I’ll gobble it down in next 1 month for sure !!
  • Preparation time : 45 minutes, mostly chopping, cutting and grinding.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Fresh ripe lemons, butterfly cut, 500 grams : Fresh and ripened lemons from the garden are a delight to pick. Sour and acidic, with a good amount of citric acid, we add lemon here not just to enhance the sour essence but also to use it’s hydrating and digestive qualities.
  • Red big chilies, (achaari or bhavnagri in hindi) split and whole, 250 grams : Another crop from my garden, big red chilies take time to reach the desired stage. They are the same green ones just allowed to sun ripen on the plant itself till they turn red. They are a good source of Vitamin C, A and E hence beneficial for skin and hair.
  • Black cardamom, 2 drummed & loosened a bit : This is a bigger cousin of green cardamom. The pods have a fragrance which is more earthy and taste which is less sweet that the green variety. It is great in fighting cold and improves respiration hence aiding in asthma. It is good for hair, skin too.
  • Cloves, 6 to 8 : Cloves is extremely beneficial for it being anti cancer, anti diabetic, pain killing and breath cleansing properties. It has a distinct pungent, bitter essence.
  • Star shaped anise, 4 : It has a strong licorice essence and helps in digestion. It works wonders in a pickle.
  • Cinnamon stick, 2 inches : Again an amazing sweet taste and flavor enhancer, cinnamon is also an anti oxidant, anti inflammatory and sugar controlling ingredient which I often use in meats.
  • Fennel seeds (Saunf), 1/2 cup or 125 grams : Fennel is amazingly sweet perfumed and tastes so much like licorice that it is a widely used breath freshener in India. Fennel has amazing benefits like maintaining bone & skin health and aiding digestion. Its a pleasure to announce that fennel swet and wild has started growing in my garden now. It has been very painstaking to bring it up in not so cordial locales of Delhi, but finally I have the bottle brush seeming 7-8 plants now.
  • Table salt, 1/3 cup or 4 tablespoon : Regular table salt can be replaced with Himalayan Pink salt. When it comes to the pickle, don’t be thrift with salt. Salt is also a natural preservative.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Wash and split the lemons in butterfly style. i.e. two perpendicular splits giving you 4 identical pieces.
  • Wash well the chilies and make one split in the middle. In case you want them less bitter (b.t.w. these big chilies a quite sweet anyways), you may shake loose and do away with the seeds and the stem in the middle of each chili.
  • Now take a skillet and heat it dry for 2 minutes. Now put the fennel in it and mild roast it for 3-5 minutes on medium heat so as not to burn or blacken. Add the cloves, star shaped anise, black cardamom, cinnamon stick and stir on heat for 2 minutes more. This mix can ten be taken off and ground mildly in a mortar and pestle. This will give you the earthy, crude pickle mix.
  • The skillet is still hot. Put all the salt in it and switch the gas off. This would mild cook the salt and make it perfect and earthy for the pickle.
  • Add all ingredients in a large bowl and shake well to mix properly.
  • Bottle this and keep in sun for 5 days. Shake often.
  • Immediately refrigerate it since the pickle may go bad since we haven’t added any preservative or oil.
  • Enjoy with lots of paranthas and buns for weeks !!

Storage : It’s pickle, right ! But it has no oil, no preservative. So you must refrigerate it and you can use it for 45 days easily.

Beet Stalks Pickle With Ginger Garlic

Beet Stalks Pickle With Ginger Garlic / Chukandar Ka Achaar

Let me introduce you all to this wonderful new initiative from my loved one. Do check this out too and follow, there will surely be great posts rolling here .. 

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This one is another of my indigenous garden to kitchen experiments that created the “MCMH Original Recipe” . Read on and try to believe it. You know that I am an avid gardner too. The effort that takes to create vegetables and flowers out of dry seeds is only next to parenting a child. So when it’s the time for fruitation, you would want your produce to be used to it’s maximum and respect every element edible or otherwise usable. This is exactly what made me use beet stalks in many ways. remember the beet stalk fries

Do try this one and I promise you’ll stand out unique when you discuss about it in a group. Enjoy !

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : Several happy lip smacking faces 🙂
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes max.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Beet Stalks (stalks + leaves) chopped, 2 cups : Amazing earthly tasting veggie with high level of immunity boosting Vitamin C and with other benefits to bones, liver, kidneys etc. So what are the stalks that i use here. Pluck a beetroot plant off the ground. Most popularly used is the bulbous root, then there are the leaves which are a great alternative to spinach. Finally there are 1/4th to 1/2 inch thick stems which may vary from 4 to 7 inches in length which lie between the root and the leaves. I am using that here. I know we use to throw them away forever long back as we knew. But it is the healthiest and tastiest part of the plant as i have discovered. 
  • Garlic chopped, 1/2 cup : You will hardly find any of my recipes missing garlic. Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Green Chilies, 3-4 large, slit & deseeded : Fresh green chilies from my garden add to the fresh heat and mild bitter component while adding benefits of eyes and skin.
  • Coarse Salt, 1 tablespoon : Use a rough pink salt, it is a good sodium and magnesium provider. Also aids in digestion and dissolution of food particles.
  • Peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon : Hot and mildly pungent, black pepper is good for digestion, skin, respiration and is a good antioxidant too. On tables across the world salt n pepper are partners in relation.
  • Yellow Mustard Seeds, 1 teaspoon : Mustard tastes from sweet to sour, bitter to steaming hot. But it’s great for digestion and respiration and strengthens bones and teeth. I use it here for the bitter sour essence.
  • Cloves, 4 to 5 : Cloves is extremely beneficial for it being anti cancer, anti diabetic, pain killing and breath cleansing properties. It has a distinct pungent, bitter essence.
  • Bay Leaf, 2 : Bay leaf is great for joints and skin and are packed with Vitamin A & C and many other minerals like iron, potassium and manganese. They are pungent and bitter in taste. I grow bay leaves in my garden so I can tell you that the fresh ones and dried ones are quite different. Use the dried ones only please. Bay leaves can grow into small trees giving lifetime supply 🙂
  • Star Anise, 1 : It has a strong licorice essence and helps in digestion.
  • Red Chili Powder, 1/2 teaspoon : Dried red chilies have a sharper, earthier essence then the fresh green ones. They are a good source of Vitamin C, A and E hence beneficial for skin and hair.
  • Vinegar, White, 1/2 cup : Vinegar preserves the flavors in my dishes very well, so I don’t mind frequenting it. Prime reason for it’s preservative qualities are the amounts of acetic acid and anti bacterial present in it. And yes of course, the sour essence is brought out very well with vinegar. It is an amazing preservative.
  • Heeng, Asafoetida, 1 pinch : Heeng controls blood flow and sugar level and further adds pungency.
  • Jaggery, 100 grams : Jaggery is an amazing anti oxidant and helps the body fight against infections. It is like a buttery liquid sugar and is good to mix in food in powder or liquid forms.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • In a hard bottomed pan or a skillet, heat the Jaggery Vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon Salt and cook for 3 minutes on medium till it gets dissolved into a solution. You may take a couple of more minutes if required. Now set this aside for cooling.
  • Now in another pan, heat some oil (2 tablespoon of any vegetable oil would do).
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and mustard to it on medium. Stir till it sputters.
  • Add veggies to it one by one starting with chilies and cook for 2 progressive minute each.
  • Add all the dry and whole spices now and cook till the spices are well immersed.
  • Now set down and bottle once cold.
  • In this bottle, now pour the vinegar solution made earlier.
  • Secure the bottle cap well and shake hard to mix everything inside well.
  • Place this bottle in sun for 10 days to sun bake well, while remembering to shake it before every sunbath 🙂
  • You have your most unique pickle ready !

Storage : You can enjoy this for around 12 months for sure, if you do not gobble it all before so.

Missing Something ? : You may add some whole curry leaves to the pickle to give an amazing South Indian recall.

Gajar Shalgam Gobhi Ka Achaar

Gajar Shalgam Gobhi Ka Achaar / Carrots Turnips and Cauliflower Pickle

I have always taken pride in my pickles. My belief is that anything that is edible is also ‘pickle-able’ ! I’ve had the pleasure to pickle most of the things that can be accommodated in the refrigerators. Vegetables, meats everything ! The bases of most pickles would be oils, brine and vinegar but there are some vegetables that can be pickled standalone, merely by salting, take for example lemon. This pickle here is what many households would call as grandma’s favorite. I have been a big fan of this since my childhood. Large ceramic jars filled with Gajar Shalgam Gobhi pickle have more or less of a permanent fixture at my place. It is a kid’s favorite too since it carries an amazing yummy sweet sour flavor and doesn’t pinch the throat a bit. In fact, preparing this pickle is more of a family day in the kitchen due to it’s heavy engagement and preparation time. Read on and enjoy for months to come if you decide to prepare this one !!

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 1 jar to last 6 months or as fast as your appetite can spare it 🙂
  • Preparation time : 60 minutes preparation + 45 minutes cooking
  • Serving size : I can eat 1/4th of a small bowl with a meal 🙂

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Cauliflower florets, 1 kg : I would introduce cauliflower as an undergraduate cousin of the post graduated broccoli. Cauliflower is a very nutritious vegetable which helps fight cancer, heart diseases, inflammation & excessive weight. 
  • Carrots, 1 kg : Carrots are high source of iron and anti oxidants and have sweet and earthy flavor.
  • Turnips, 1 kg : Turnips are amazingly sweet roots. In fact I use their leaves in my kitchen too. But if you allow them to grow larger, they become hard and bitter. A good size would be that of a cricket ball. Turnips are also one of the healthiest foods on earth. It has good amount of fiber, minerals like iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium , potassium omega 3 fatty acids, proteins, K, A C, E and B complex. That’s a big load of wonders 🙂
  • White Vinegar, 750 ml : Vinegar preserves the flavors in my dishes very well, so I don’t mind frequenting it. Prime reason for it’s preservative qualities are the amounts of acetic acid and anti bacterial present in it. And yes of course, the sour essence is brought out very well with vinegar. It is an amazing preservative.
  • Nigella, 1 teaspoon : It’s called kalonji in Indian kitchens and is packed with antibacterials, antioxidants, anti inflammatory. It has a slight bitter, onion like flavor.
  • Fenugreek seeds, 60 grams : Mildly sweet and nutty and very earthy, fenugreek controls cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels and hunger control. In India we generally use the leaves as a veggie but lesser kitchens in India would not have the dried seeds as well.
  • Peppercorns, 60 grams : Pepper aids respiration and digestion. It is also an antibacterial, anti oxidant and improves skin texture. They have the obvious mild fiery flavor.
  • Cumin seeds, 60 grams : Cumin has the classical earthy and nutty essence. Cumin is also extremely popular due to it’s aid to digestion, immune system, respiratory system and being a source of iron.
  • Black Cardamom seeds, 12 grams : This is a bigger cousin of green cardamom. The pods have a fragrance which is more earthy and taste which is less sweet that the green variety. It is great in fighting cold and improves respiration hence aiding in asthma. It is good for hair, skin too. 
  • Mustard seeds, 120 grams :Mustard tastes from sweet to sour, bitter to steaming hot. But it’s great for digestion and respiration and strengthens bones and teeth. I use it here for the bitter sour essence.
  • Fennel seeds, 2 tablespoon : Fennel is amazingly sweet perfumed and tastes so much like licorice that it is a widely used breath freshener in India. Fennel has amazing benefits like maintaining bone & skin health and aiding digestion.
  • Red Chili powder, 2 tablespoon : Dried red chilies have a sharper, earthier essence then the fresh green ones. They are a good source of Vitamin C, A and E hence beneficial for skin and hair.
  • Cinnamon, 2 inch stick : Again an amazing sweet taste and flavor enhancer, cinnamon is also an anti oxidant, anti inflammatory and sugar controlling ingredient. I replace my sugar with cinnamon often.
  • Cloves, 18 : Cloves is extremely beneficial for it being anti cancer, anti diabetic, pain killing and breath cleansing properties. It has a distinct pungent, bitter essence.
  • Turmeric powder, 2 tablespoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the pickle here. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory.
  • Salt, 300 grams : I used regular table salt here. It is treated in labs and hence helps as a good preservative to the pickle.
  • Jaggery, 1.5 kg : Jaggery is an amazing anti oxidant and helps the body fight against infections. It is like a buttery liquid sugar and is good to mix in food in powder or liquid forms.
  • Mustard oil, 800 grams : This extremely pungent oil is a great source of Omega 3 and Vitamin E hence great for your skin and hair. Besides in kitchen, mustard oil is the most popular oil across the globe for body and hair massages. 

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Wash and chop all the vegetables. The cauliflowers need to be chopped into 1 inch thick florets, the carrots into 1 & 1/2 inch sticks with 5 mm thickness and turnips into 1 inch cubes.
  • Blanch all these veggies and set under a fan to dry. Traditionally, we spread it over a muslin cloth or a newspaper either under the sun or under a fan and leave  to dry for a full sunny day.
  • While the vegetables are drying, there is sufficient work at hand. Read on
  • Grind and blend the ginger and garlic into a crude paste.
  • Now heat the oil in a skillet and saute the ginger garlic paste for 5 minutes on medium flame.
  • Meanwhile grind the dry spices (Nigella, Fenugreek, Turmeric, Peppercorns, Cumin, Cardamom, Mustard, Fennel, Cinnamon and Cloves). It wouldn’t be a bad idea to mildly roast the mixture before grinding. Crispier spice mix would grind easily. Grinding well is important else the spices might give an unpleasant chewing experience later.
  • Now add this spice mix in the skillet where the mustard oil and the ginger garlic awaits. Saute’ this for 5 minutes.
  • Add the red chili powder and salt and saute’ for 3 minutes further. Then set the skillet aside to cool.
  • While this cools, take another skillet and pour the vinegar into it. Heat and set the flame on medium. Gradually add pieces of jaggery (or the powder if you have chosen such) in this hot vinegar and stir constantly till the jaggery completely dissolves in the solution.
  • By now the veggies should have dried properly. So mix the veggies, the spiced oil and the jaggery vinegar solution well.
  • Bottle this up in large jars and close the lid tightly.
  • Show this pickle jar a lot of sunshine for a week to 10 days and be ready to see happy faces for months to come 😀

Storage : 12 months shelf life provided that you avoid moisture !

Missing Something ? : Did I actually miss any spice in your Indian kitchen, let me know and we can discuss whether you can add that too 😀 . You can add thin cuts of raw turmeric or ginger as additional ingredients.

Bhavnagri Bharwa Mirchi ka Achaar

Bhavnagri Bharwa Mirch ka Achaar

This is a classic recipe for all seasons. Bhavnagri mirch ka achaar goes amazingly well with a “Parantha” breakfast or with a rice meal dinner. It goes well with regular breads and chapatis too. Its amazing sweet chilli taste can be iterated as per liking of the age groups and also individual tastes by increasing the sugar and vinegar or by adding more mustard and some thin green chillies. 20 minutes of easily spent time and several yummy meals. Enjoy !!

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 10 per helping
  • Preparation time : 20 minutes
  • Serving size : 2 chilli pickles per helping

….and we need (ingredient)

  • Bhavnagri green chillies 20 in numbers (will be around 600 to 700 gms) : Super sweet exclusive chillies. Can be fried for pakoras and stuff fried for mirchi vada. Mellowed chilli taste makes it a favorite of all ages. I pluck them off my garden, also easily caught up at local stores.
  • Ground mustard powder 8 tablespoons : Mustard enhances the pungency of the pickle. Mustard has good amount of potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.
  • Turmeric powder 1/2 tablespoon : When you eat anything pungent, it is generally complimented with a pinch of turmeric in Indian cooking. That’s because it neutralises and reaction if at all. It is and anti inflammatory and high antioxidant spice.
  • Vinegar 1 tablespoon : It’s great in controlling weight, cholesterol, skin disorders and blood pressure and providers the sour angle.
  • Mustard oil 1/2 cup : As with mustard, this is coarse and brings out the pungency of the pickle. Also is a natural preservative.
  • Sugar 2 tablespoon : Sweetness makes this pickle friendly for all age groups.
  • Salt 6 tablespoons : Do not alter the quantity here. May alter the sour level.
  • Green chillies split 10 (regular slim ones) : Only added optional to add a sharp bitterness to the pickle.

….time to cook ‘n roll cooking instructions)

  • Wash and dry the big chillies well. Then slit them up. I let 1/2 inch of stalk to remain since I like to munch of them pickled too.
  • Mix the mustard powder, turmeric, mustard oil and salt.
  • Now heat a small pan and add vinegar to it. After 30 seconds add the sugar and mix well on medium flame till the sugar dissolves well.
  • Take this off the flame and cool mildly and naturally (i.e. do not refrigerate to hurry it up)
  • Take the big green chillies which you have split and stuff the mixed spices (turmeric, mustard powder, mustard oil and salt) in each chilli well.
  • Place them in a sterilized jar.
  • Now pour the vinegar and sugar over the chillies in the jar.
  • Keep it in sunlight for 7 to 10 days and you have your pickle ready. I take off the sun in 4 to 5 days  flat because i like my chillies crunchy. You can choose your textures as you want to enjoy.

Storage : Room temperature, any climate. this pickle last for an year if you are not tempted to finish it off in the 1st 2 months !

Missing Something ? : I also add split 8 to 10 thin green chillies to the pickle before adding the vinegar syrup. This gives me sharper “Xing” which I absolutely love.