My lemon pickle is ready! Actually it was ready in 4 weeks but I haven't been able to post an update as this summer has been the busiest ever: birthday party for Medha, visitors, vacation and a huge backlog at work. It's not over yet cos Medha's school friend from New Lenox is coming to stay with us next week but two little girls should be easy to handle. Or am I expecting too much?!
I was surprised that it took only 4 weeks to cook in the sun. But I attribute that largely to the intensity of the sun here in Colorado; we are at a higher altitude which makes the sun even more fierce. I also think that the unexpectedly hot start to this year's summer played a significant role. The usual cooking time in the sun is about 2 months.
The juices are so thick that they stick to the lemon pieces. The thickened juice is called khaar in Marathi and a lemon piece are called limbachi phod. I washed and sliced one of the lemon pieces to show what the peel looks like when it is pickled and ready to eat. The thick peel is no longer crisp and no white parts are visible.
Once the pickle has reached this stage, allow it to rest in a dark place for at least 3 days, preferably a cool cabinet that is not opened frequently. Once past this stage, store the pickle in smaller glass jars in the refrigerator. The advantage of storing it in small jars is that you reduce the chances of contaminating the whole batch if someone double-dips into it or a not-so-dry spoon is used while serving. Storing it in the refrigerator also makes it last that much longer.
We love to have this lemon pickle on the side with meals, like we did with this simple meal of rice and thoy, a simple dal with lots of ginger.
Or with phulki (roti) and farasbeechi bhaji, which was our simple dinner last night.
We also love to have it with bagels. Yes! Warm bagels with cream cheese with a thin layer of lemon pickle. Delicious!
If you make this pickle, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
My next project is a lime pickle with ginger and green chillies, without oil and cooked in the sun. I hope to post the recipe soon!