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Comments on Indian Food Rocks: Lemon Pickle without oil (picture intensive step-by-step recipe)





Updated: 2017-11-09T21:46:14.830-07:00

 



Susan, quite honestly, I am stumped. I would not h...

2017-11-09T21:46:14.830-07:00

Susan, quite honestly, I am stumped. I would not heat it, not at this point. Were the peels thicker than usual? Were the lemons bigger than those from previous years? In both these cases, it could be that more salt was needed. I end up using citrons which have a fairly thick skin but they always soften rather quickly. If the lemons were juicy but the resulting pickle was difficult to stir, I think that leads me back to salt. I just pulled out a two-year-old pickle and, even though it is thick, I could stir in more lemon juice if I wanted. If you wanted to experiment with it, you could take a small quantity and add both lemon juice and salt to it and see if it makes a difference. I would also add a bit of sugar to balance the flavors but it is not critical. Thoughts?



Hi Manisha, it is me again lol! Now ... THIS year...

2017-10-31T14:03:08.610-06:00

Hi Manisha, it is me again lol! Now ... THIS year ..which was tremendously hot I expected my lemon pickle to 'cook' very quickly ... but in fact ...they have been out on my balcony cooking for months ie since June ! Thank goodness for the long hot spell ...or they would never be ready. I am not sure why they took so long .... I even added some extra lemon juice about 6 weeks back as it was very difficult to mix the pickle when I shook it ... and remains so ! The lemons were not dry, they were quite juicy!

So... I just popped onto the balcony and brought it in .. and tried it !! lol! VERY hot/spicy this time .... and the lemons are still fairly firm .. despite almost 5 months in late 30's upper 40º heat ! I must check that my lemons are thinner skinned next year. Perhaps that is the problem. I am also going to split the amount between TWO large jars to enable me to shake them mixture more easily!

Is there anything you can suggest that will soften the lemons a little more ? I am loathe to heat it ... unless you think its a good idea !

Many thanks !



m, thank you for your patience! My recipe does not...

2017-07-20T22:19:27.271-06:00

m, thank you for your patience! My recipe does not call for softening lemons in brine. There is no added water in my recipe. There is salt, lemon juice and any juices that may run from the lemons due to the hygroscopic nature of salt. I shake my jar every day and, in all these years that I have been making this pickle, I have not seen any mold in any of my jars. As long as you are not seeing any growth - whether whitish or bluish - in color, the pickle should be fine, in my opinion. Additional tests would be smell and taste. If either seem off to you, pitch it. If you aren't shaking the jar or stirring it everyday, I can imagine that there will be slight discoloration of the peels but it's not something I have seen because of the method I follow.

I cannot give you advice about the other recipe you tried. Leaving it in a dark place has never worked for me. I am not sure if it is the salt-lemon ratio (Indian nimboos are much smaller than both our lemons as well as limes) or if it is the acidity of our fruit or if it is the water content of our fruit. You might be better off asking the author of that recipe.

You could cover your jar with a thick muslin cloth should you wish to do so. It depends on where you live. It generally doesn't rain in India during the season when nimboo pickle is made. It is, therefore, possible to leave jars out in the sun without worrying about rain. I live in Colorado where afternoon thunderstorms are the norm, especially in summer, which is when I make this pickle. The rest of the day it is hot and dry and my pickles tend to dry out; not so much in India because of the higher level of humidity. I prefer to have them in an air-tight container and open it to stir the pickle, at the very least, every other day if not every day.

That one teaspoon of oil makes not much of a difference to the pickle, IMHO.



HI! Thank you for this recipe. I noticed that t...

2017-04-19T18:39:30.018-06:00

HI!

Thank you for this recipe.

I noticed that the top layer of my lemon pickle, the pieces in direct contact with oxygen inside the bottle
(not covered by the brine) have a different color to them. Slightly lighter, the rest of the peels are still vibrant bright color.
I turned the bottle upside down and the same thing started to happen at that end.
I've opened the bottle a few times to stir the contents with a clean dry spoon before this.
It's 14 days old.

I'm wondering if this is yeast, and not good.

How does mold look like in a lemon pickle?

I'm confused - I tried another recipe before with instructions to keep in a dark place (no sun) for a week.
Sanjeev Kapur's instructs to cover the mouth with muslin in the sun (there's a minimal amount of oil in his. Minimal. like a teaspoon)
Advice?

Thank you





I can't believe I've been eating Indian fo...

2016-06-19T06:49:12.471-06:00

I can't believe I've been eating Indian food for years and I just discovered the lemon pickle! I'm glad your recipe doesn't have the added oil, it's just not necessary and adds hidden fat content.



Oh Manisha !!!!! You have had my guests (and myse...

2015-10-06T19:28:21.778-06:00

Oh Manisha !!!!! You have had my guests (and myself!) in raptures with this !! We are Brits and have lived in northern Portugal for over 6 yrs now, but 6 months ago moved to our new house here. We have a great balcony that gets the sun ALL day ... which was just screaming out for me to make your fantastic recipe, which I did. Last Thursday was THE day .. and with friends .. we opened it. Personally ... I could just eat it with a spoon as I LOVE spicey and lemony sour things !! Have sent my husband's cousin home on the plane back to the UK with a small jar ... and am about to start some more. Might take longer now though as the temperatures are beginning to drop ...

Thank you SO much for this recipe as I have always loved the likes of pickled lime etc ...




2013-09-17T05:06:47.078-06:00

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.



fullmonte, leave it out. It's only the salt an...

2013-09-09T16:53:51.681-06:00

fullmonte, leave it out. It's only the salt and sugar that are critical to the pickle. The rest of the flavoring is up to you.

desixlb, it is indeed a Maharashtrian pickle!

Dazzling Ditz, if it smells bad, don't eat it. I haven't pickled garlic with lemons like this before. I'm so sorry! I wish I could be of more help.
:-(

I have successfully added lime / lemon juice after the pickle was ready. You may need to add some salt with it.



Hey Manisha: I am in dire need of help! I made 2...

2013-09-06T11:09:51.244-06:00

Hey Manisha:

I am in dire need of help!

I made 2 batches of pickle
1) Lime (I followed this lemon recipe)
2) Lemon (I added garlic, chillies and ginger)

The first pickle is cooking just great!

The second one - smells funny. Everything I used was dry as were the lemons and my hands. Could it be the garlic I added into the jar? perhaps the salt was a little low? I bit into it yesterday (only been 8 days) and it tastes ok but it smells funny. How can I fix it?

Should I just let it cook and then chuck it if it looks and smells bad after about2 weeks?

Also, can I add the juice of another lime and lemon 3 weeks after letting the pickle cook in the sun?

Thanks,
Love the recipes. I just wish I had never put in garlic :(

Michelle



hello there, thanks so much for this post. can y...

2013-03-13T15:07:10.906-06:00

hello there,

thanks so much for this post. can you tell me which state/region this recipe is from? my friend says it reminds her of a maharashtrian pickle.

i've made this lemon achaar thrice and it is divine! each time i've made variations depending on ingredients on hand.

first one i made it without the hing and a bit less chili, and the pickle turned out fantastically.

second one i made with rampur limes from our tree. it is sitting in the warm san francisco sun (yes it does exist!).

third one i made with more chili and added hing. it looks beautiful.

thank you so much!




hello there, thanks so much for this post. can y...

2013-03-13T15:06:41.108-06:00

hello there,

thanks so much for this post. can you tell me which state/region this recipe is from? my friend says it reminds her of a maharashtrian pickle.

i've made this lemon achaar thrice and it is divine! each time i've made variations depending on ingredients on hand.

first one i made it without the hing and a bit less chili, and the pickle turned out fantastically.

second one i made with rampur limes from our tree. it is sitting in the warm san francisco sun (yes it does exist!).

third one i made with more chili and added hing. it looks beautiful.

thank you so much!




How vital is the asafoetida to the finished produc...

2013-02-28T10:18:03.298-07:00

How vital is the asafoetida to the finished product. I live in Montenegro so lemons are plentiful right now but Indian spices are not (I smuggle them in whenever I get the chance :-). I have everything except asafoetida. Is there something else I could substitute or shall I just leave it out?



Hi Manisha, As many have mentioned - a great reci...

2013-02-11T03:04:52.527-07:00

Hi Manisha,

As many have mentioned - a great recipe - absolutely loved it!! When trying it I thought about your comments about cooking it in the sun for two months or in a pot slowly for 5 hours... it made me think and I made two tweaks that you may find interesting:
1) I used a good Deggi Mirch to get a balanced chilli flavour
2) I cooked it for 16hrs in the oven at around 80C (~175F) in a cast iron pot with a heavy lid.

It turned out fantastic and my wife even took it to show off her Swedish hubby's skills to her Indian aunties in Mumbai - so many thanks for helping me look good! :-) / Richard



Hi, just thought I would share my experience! Espe...

2013-01-01T12:21:50.739-07:00

Hi, just thought I would share my experience! Especially as I have read and re-read this and all the comments a million times to help me deal with some challenges!
Having grown up with Indian food and taken its provision for granted, I find myself living alone and having to make do and mend. I've reached a time where I am keen to make things from scratch and making pickles always feels like alchemy! Or at least an art.
I went to the supermarket to do a regular shop and they were selling off bags of lemons for pennies so I randomly put a few bags in my basket without thinking what I would do with them. They are always good to slice and freeze for gin and tonic!
I then googled lemon pickle...hurrah everything was coming together when I found this step by step picture recipe.
I love your picture by picture instructions and had all the ingredients so off I went using the stove top method. Winter in England doesn't make the sun soaking method feasible.
I had to convert the cup measurements to grams/spoons, being from the UK where we use cups for drinking tea only and not as a measuring device. I used a website to help me and learned that half a cup of salt is 4 tablespoons.
I made a batch which was inedible because it was soooo salty. And too hot. I had put less chilli in than stated because my chilli powder is extra hot, but even so it was hot.
So I made another batch thinking I would under spice it and mix the two. But I put a very small amount of salt in thinking that it was needed chemically to produce the pickle. It was certainly a better batch and I mixed the two.
I tried it today but the salt is still killing it.
So as I write I have a third batch cooking which has used up the remaining lemons. I have not salted it or put chilli in. In a couple of hours I will mix the three batches.
Ah, the washing up!
Still, my plan is if this doesn't work as a pickle to spread on food or eat with a meal, what I will do is use it to mix to currys...e.g. A potato curry with lemon achar and I think that will be lovely.
The colour and aroma of the pickle is lovely...it certainly does feel like alchemy when you start with a turmeric-lemon colour and then watch as it gradually turns to a deep amber and then a gorgeous ruby colour.
Despite having got the flavourings wrong, I'm starting to feel like an expert at this with all this experience!
Thanks for getting me started on my pickle making journey. I am going to try a dried carrot one next. The carrots will have to be dried in the oven without any hope of sunshine here.



thanks manisha, this is the second time i make the...

2012-11-30T01:03:24.261-07:00

thanks manisha, this is the second time i make the pickel, however this time 2 of the 4 jars started smelling like alcohol. its weired cause only 2 have gone off.



Fleurette, you're very welcome! That you liked...

2012-11-29T14:18:06.141-07:00

Fleurette, you're very welcome! That you liked it makes me very happy!

Michael Henwood, there is divided opinion about this pickle - whether it ferments or it cures. Given the amount of salt in it, I would say it cures more than it ferments. However, the end result does not taste sweet despite a fair amount of sugar, and that has led many folks to believe that this pickle ferments. I'm not an expert on fermentation but what I can tell you is that this pickle is pretty darned good!

It's ready when the peel has softened and the white pith has absorbed all the spices. It won't be crisp or bitter at this point.

Enjoy!



how do you know its ready?

2012-11-27T04:52:46.279-07:00

how do you know its ready?



can my lemon pickle ferment?

2012-11-27T04:51:43.875-07:00

can my lemon pickle ferment?



Just wanted to let you know that I made this pickl...

2012-09-11T02:40:32.506-06:00

Just wanted to let you know that I made this pickle and it is so delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe.



Thank you so much! Can't wait to do this!

2012-09-01T16:10:32.458-06:00

Thank you so much! Can't wait to do this!



john_cindi, yes! Hing mellows on cooking, especial...

2012-09-01T16:06:52.124-06:00

john_cindi, yes! Hing mellows on cooking, especially when it is added to hot oil. But that's just a general tip as there's no oil in this recipe. If you don't want to babysit the pickle on the stovetop and you have a slow cooker, then see Anna's feedback on my lime pickle post. And, no, hing does not make your skin smell. But I might be the wrong person to ask because I love the aroma of hing!

I store my container of hing in another container that contains a layer of a salt and flour mixture. This way, the aroma does not mix with that of the other spices and it also ensures that the hing remains fragrant longer.



... and will the Hing Powder make your skin and br...

2012-09-01T15:11:14.948-06:00

... and will the Hing Powder make your skin and breath smell like Garlic does?



What about using Hing Powder if cooking on the sto...

2012-09-01T15:08:47.392-06:00

What about using Hing Powder if cooking on the stove. Will it still mellow?
My first try will have to be on the stove, as we are leaving town in a month and I do not think that would give it enough time in the sun.
(Leaving in one month - will be gone for 5-6 weeks, then home for 2 months, then gone for another 2 months - that puts us into March when it would be too cold - in Michigan - to suncook the pickle --- but I will be trying the suncooked method next sping or summer! )
But, I can't wait that long to taste it, so the stovetop will have to do for now. :)
So, do you think the Hing Powder would still be a good decision on the stovetop? Thank you for your input.



pjningal, thank you! This recipe is a keeper and e...

2012-09-01T14:08:07.015-06:00

pjningal, thank you! This recipe is a keeper and even though this post is now over 6 years old, I am always thrilled when one more person writes in to say they loved it!

john_cindi, hing / asafetida is an amazing aromatic. A pinch goes a long way. I would not skip it as it changes the aroma and flavor profile of the pickle. The smell that you find distasteful will mellow as the pickles cooks in the sun. Also, hing is good for you, it is supposed to reduce flatulence, aid in digestion, etc. ;-D



I have not had lemon pickle in over a decade. My ...

2012-09-01T12:51:00.934-06:00

I have not had lemon pickle in over a decade. My mouth is watering every time I look at the photos! Can't wait to make this. I have all the ingredients, but I think I may leave the hing powder out - the smell just in the bottle is too overwhelming. Is it really necessary? It's such a small amount.
Thank you so much for posting with such detail and great photos!