Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Sour Fruit based South Indian Pickles 10

This cookbook lists 10 sour fruit pickles listed below. The technique is greatly simplified, so that a first time cook can easily prepare them. These are the simplest pickles of them all. Just mix in salt, turmeric powder with sour fruits and your pickle is ready in a few days! 

1.:Chopped raw mango pickle.

2.:Lemon pickle ( Elumichai Oorugai)

3.:Large Citron Pickle (Narthangai oorugai).  

4.:Baby mango pickle ( vadu manga).

5.:Small Citron pickle (Kidarangai Oorugai)

6.: Avakkai Pickle

7.: Grated mango pickle ( Manga Thokku)

8.:  Karanda Pickle (Kilakkai Oorguai)

9.: Small Gooseberry Pickle ( Aru nellikai Oorgai)

10.:Large Gooseberry Pickle ( Peru nellikkai oorugai)

Core Logic: Salt a sour fruit to draw out its juices, mix in spices.

 Pickling Basics: Pickles were invented as a way to preserve vegetables without refrigeration.  Enzymes within food / Microorganisms from outside spoil food.  So, the goal of all pickling is to retard the microbial/ enzyme actions. This is accomplished in sour fruit pickles by salting. Salt draws out the natural juices, reducing enzyme action. The sour juice acts as a natural preservative, preventing the growth of micro organisms.  Thus, these pickles easily last for months. Other fruit / vegetables, which do not have acidic juices (garlic, chilies, ginger etc) can be pickled the same way, but need to have an acid (vinegar / lemon juice) mixed in. By following a few simple rules listed below, you can easily prepare fool-proof pickles.

1. Use fresh, unblemished sour fruits. The sourer the fruit, the better the pickle.

2. Wash and completely dry fruits, bottles and spoons.
3. Never use a wet spoon or your bare hands to touch the pickle.
4. Aluminum, plastic or brass vessels react with the acid in pickles and should be avoided. Use glass / stainless steel / porcelain jars.
5. Salt always has moisture in it. So dry roast it / dry it in sun for a day before adding it to the pickle.
6. Sterilize the bottles before filling them with pickles. ( See below)
7. Fill the bottles almost to the top to reduce the amount of air sealed in.
8. Once pickles are ready, cover them with a layer of oil and refrigerate them to make them last much longer.
9. Optionally, mix in a tiny pinch of sodium benzoate, a preservative.
10. Optionally mix in half a handful of dried chickpeas / a spoon of fenugreek seeds / 4-5 garlic cloves with these pickles. These taste delicious when pickled in the sour juice.
11. If the fruits are not sour enough, mix in a spoon or two of vinegar.


The more rules you break, the less time your pickles will last. Follow all of them and your pickle will easily last for a year or more. .

South Indian Pickling powder:
 Take a handful of mustard seeds, half a handful of fenugreek, two handfuls of red chilies. (Optionally add in a spoon of dhania / cumin). Dry the mixture in the sun for a day.( Or microwave for a minute at the highest setting). Let cool and grind to a powder.


North Indian Pickling powder Take a handful of red chilies. Add two pinches each of onion seeds ( kalonji), fenugreek, cumin, peppercorns and  four pinches of mango powder.. Let dry in the sun for a day (or microwave at the highest setting for a minute). Let cool and grind to a coarse powder.

For south Indian pickles use sesame oil and for north Indian pickles use mustard oil. If you do not like the raw oil taste, heat the oil till it smokes, let it cool and then add to the pickle.

Sterilising bottles Fill a pan with cold water. Immerse the bottles and bring water to a boil. Boil for five minutes, remove bottles and keep them inverted in the sun till they are completely dry.

You can use this technique to pickle any sour fruit from across the world.  

1 comment:

Good Pediatrician in Chennai said...

Very inviting pickle, mouthwatering here...

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