IFR Quick Fix: Patal Bhaji

I know what you are thinking: she accepted the Schmooze award and promptly did an about turn and became an UnSchmoozer. Well, not true. If I had hogged the Schmooze Award, polished it, displayed it, gloated over it and then morphed into a turncoat, some of that earlier statement might be true. But I shared it with a go forth and multiply attitude. And multiply, it did!

This pesky thing called life has been very hectic on all fronts. If there was an overflow:delete command, my trigger finger would have been poised over it at all times. So, to those of you who have visited my blog in the last few weeks and left comments, I offer you my most sincere apologies. I have read all your comments and I hope to catch up with you, here and on your blogs, in the weeks to come.

Since all work, dishes, laundry and no play makes Manisha a sad girl, we made a quick dash to Moab, Utah and stared in awe at glorious arches, buttes and canyons in Arches National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park and Canyonlands National Park, along with ancient petroglyphs. We almost rented a Jeep Wrangler for some off-roading and jeeping but destiny decreed otherwise. The person who rented it before us smashed it up by taking a stock vehicle on the toughest 4-wheel trail in Moab. All we would have done was Shafer Trail to see the Colorado River gooseneck through Canyonlands. It was all very well as Medha's cold gripped her left nose as well as her right nose - yes, she has several of that appendage - and she even ran a fever later that day.

This short getaway was full of fun. And even though it was too-darned-hot, I had to have lots and lots of tea. Iced tea would have been just dandy but the timing of Salubri-tea could not have been worse. It came too late! That, too, when we were huddling under blankets and putting panes back into our windows instead of at a time when sunshine was in abundant supply, in Utah! You see, no matter what, I always take my 10 year old trusted tea-ball with me whenever I am travelling. That, and my tea leaves.

This time, I even carried limes that I had on hand and some sugar. We had delicious nimboo-pani (limeade) at the end of each day in Utah. Sure beats drinking stuff out of a can or a bottle!

In India, my hair dryer was my never-fail companion. In the US, it has always been my tea-ball and tea leaves. In 1997, when we drove across the US and back, I carried tea bags. Towards the end of that trip, I found my tea-ball and it's been with me ever since. So attached am I to it, that I thought I had left it behind in Canada in July and was rather morose for days till my husband found it tucked away in the khauchi pishvi. Life was just peachy again!

Is there any must-have that you take along with you when you travel?

In other news, this weekend we are going on our annual neighborhood camping trip to listen to the elks bugle and watch their rut. It's quite an amazing experience to hear that high-pitched call emanate from a hulking bull with even larger antlers perched on his head! Elk cows and calves invariably traipse through the campgrounds and we get a real up-close and personal experience. Some elks take it a step further. Residents of Estes Park had to recently deal with an elk that decided to take on a swing, instead of another bull! Don't miss the images that go with the story.

Since we haven't seen or heard from our tent after our camping trip a year ago, we opened it up and camped in our backyard on Saturday night. Urban camping rocks, I tell you! Drink water and beer with abandon for a toilet with running water is just a few steps away. Cold? Run inside and grab a comforter and another beer, too! Just because!

That's Medha trying to be scary. And the light inside? It's what made this campout in the backyard even more über. We had long - and I mean really long - extension cords going from the patio to the tent and we had a bedside lamp in the tent. Its glow reflected off our faces while we had a blast playing rummy late into the night. And since it was a cool night with temperatures in the mid-forties, we slept in and woke up quite refreshed. So refreshed that I even thought of cooking instead of just putting things together. I had some lovely organic red chard and after that cool night, a patal bhaji was what my soul yearned for. But with such gorgeous weather, I did not want to toil over the stove so I took the easy way out and made my Quick Fix Patal Bhaji.

If you are a purist or believe that things must be cooked in a certain way only, then stop reading now! I believe that cooking is constantly evolving. There is no one way of doing things. Doing something a little differently does not make a dish less authentic. If I had all the time in the world and all the inclination, I might do things the way my grandmothers did. And if you're thinking, "But this is not how patal bhaji is made!" Well, my answer to you is: It's how I make it.

Patal Bhaji (paht-tull bhah-gee) is a Maharashtrian dish that is essentially veggies or greens in a coconut sauce. Usually there is an accompanying dal that gives the sauce some extra body. In our family, we make patal bhaji just with whole masoor (red lentils), no veggies or greens. The main seasoning is usually kala masala but since I am all out and too lazy to make my own, I grind my own masala just prior to making patal bhaji. It's a breeze and goes from stove to table in 30 minutes or thereabouts.

Patal Bhaji with Chard

  • 1 bunch chard, chopped including the stems
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • pinch asafetida
  • 1 dried red chilli, broken into two pieces
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 cup tur dal, washed and uncooked
  • 3 cups water
  • Tamarind, the size of a dollar coin
  • 1 cup coconut milk, canned is just fine
  • 1 tbsp grated jaggery or brown sugar
  • 1 to 1.5 tbsp fresh ground masala
  • salt to taste

For the masala

  • 3 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tsp whole black peppercorns

  1. Toast the whole spices in the oven or on a tava. Allow them to cool and crush to a fine powder in your spice grinder.
  2. Heat oil in the pan of your pressure cooker.
  3. Toss in the mustard seeds and when they crackle and splutter, add asafetida, and the dried red chilli
  4. Add the chopped chard, the washed tur dal and 3 cups of water
  5. Soften the tamarind by heating it in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds in some water. Mush it up and discard any pips and fibres. Add to your pressure cooker pan.
  6. Add fresh ground masala, jaggery and salt
  7. Pressure cook this for 4 whistles or its equivalent - as long as it takes for tur dal to cook in your pressure cooker
  8. Once the pressure cooker has cooled, open it up and add 1 cup of coconut milk and bring to a boil again.
  9. Serve this right away! It tastes great with steamed rice. Or as I found, it's like a spicy hearty soup that can eaten while engrossed in a good book!

  • I use tamarind that is called Thai Tamarind Fruit Pulp. I find it easier to use than the dried and salted tamarind from India. I can pull out as much as I need without needing any kitchen tools and since it is already soft, it doesn't take long to extract a thick tamarind juice. Tamarind extract can be used, too, but it lends its dark color to a dish and its flavor can be overwhelming if it is not used judiciously.
  • Patal Bhaji has to be spicy for it to be good. 1.5 tbsp of the fresh ground masala was at the extreme end of the spectrum for us, especially since my dried red chillies also pack in a punch. And, 2 tsp is way too less. Even Medha said that I could add some more spice the next time! Start with 1 tbsp of the masala and add more later, if you think you would like more heat.

I am going to be busy preparing for the camping trip so I won't be able to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, like we did last year. I'm hoping to make some chavde and besan ladu when we return. See you all next week!


evolvingtastes said...

That Patal bhaji looks utterly yum. But that's not how patal bhaji is made :-0 * duck and cover before you throw those indian food rocks at me *

Indian Food Rocks said...

ET, I had you in mind when I wrote that! Rocks with sharp edges are being hurled your way. :-D

musical said...

Sooooooooo good to see you, Manisha. So long as its tastes good, who cares how its made :-D.

Good to know that you had an enjoyable lil' break. You sure love your tea, don't you :).

evolvingtastes said...

Why rey, what have I done to make you think of me that way? :-(

Padma said...

Patal Bhaji looks yum! Loved the name but did u refer to patal as dilute bhaji...if so then its absolutely creamy

Tee said...

loved the way you make your patal bhaji ;)

Rajitha said...

manisha..that bhaji looks delicious..and experimentation is a must..traditional foods were experimentation at one point too...

Bong Mom said...

You know I thought "Patal" meant parwal until I came all the way down to the recipe.Looks yumm and should taste the same too
And What is the tea ball, where can I get one ?

bee said...

i have to take flushable wipes on any trip. one pack in my backpack, one pack in every bag and suitcase we carry. on trips do with tea bags. at home i use the teaball.

Roopa said...

lovely post manisha! happy ganesh chaturti and have a lovely trip!.

oh the patal bhaji looks delicious haven't tried yet :)

Latha Narasimhan said...

Nice write up! The picture of your tent is beautiful!
Very true, Indian food rocks!

Richa said...

looks creamy & delicious. i should try ur version sometime, mine is the usual aloo chi bhaji ani chana dal :)
summer madhye me mazha peaches cha quota gheun jatey, what if i don't get it wherever i'm.....LOL

Indian Food Rocks said...

Musical, the hecklers in the back row wouldn't leave me alone. So I had to make a hasty comeback. ;-)And, yes, I love and need my tea!

ET, I was just kidding! Usually, along comes Anita and we have a sparring match. I only have the highest opinion of you! And I am not kidding there!! Lack of emoticons - yes, yes, I hear you! move to Wordpress! - makes it that much more difficult to get it across that I was just teasing and it was all in jest.

Padma, patal means a lot of things in Marathi. It also means saree. :-D Even more confused now? Don't be. You have to understand the meaning of the word in the given context. Patal can mean dilute or liquidy. Usually bhajis are dry, without any sauce. Since these aren't really amtis nor are they true dals, they are called bhaji. And to differentiate them from the regular bhaji, they are called patal bhaji since they have a sauce. At least that's what I think it is. Anyone have a better explanation?

Tee, thanks! Try it out sometime, it's real easy and tastes really good!

Rajitha, I'm with you there! Cooking evolves based on the parameters and variables that prevail in that era.

Sandeepa, no parwal - or padwal as we call it - on this blog. It's one of the few veggies I have a dislike for!

The tea ball is a wonderful invention! If I ever meet the inventor, I'm going to give him or her an endless hug! It's an infuser and substitutes for the removable strainer in a teapot. Essentially you have two hinged half spheres that have a mesh. You put tea leaves in one of them, and bring the other half sphere over and close it up. Look closely at the one on the right side. Right under where the chain starts is the 'latch' that holds the two half spheres together. You drop this ball into hot water for as long as you need to brew the tea. Yank it out and your tea is ready!

You will definitely get it at any tea house. I have seen these at Kohl's but they are usually sold with a mug. Target has them, too. They are sold as tea infusers and come in a variety of shapes. Some even have handles. Here's a bunch from Amazon.

Bee, yup! Those are next on my list. Although, if you believe the folks at Burning Man, they say those aren't really flushable. They were advising people against bringing flushable wipes to the playa as last year, they had to pick them out by hand - yeow - to stop them from clogging their sanitation system.

I carry Lysol wipes. I buy the large containers and make small packs and have a pack in every handbag and in my purse.

Roopa, thanks! I'm looking forward to it and hoping it won't be as jinxed as last year! I have to start getting the winter wear out regardless!

musical said...

Khauchi pishvi :-D. The one that i MUST have ;).

Oh, and if thats any consolation (yeah, i know, poor choice of words here): a few friends make the patal bhaji your way :).

Whats your favorite tea btw?

Priya said...

Hey Manisha, I wanted to send you an email but could not spot an email id on the blog...

Anita said...

"But this is not how patal bhaji is made!" Correct. [I have to say this since you have the highest regard for ET while,on the other hand, for me you have....?]

That is a very creamy and delicious looking patal bhaji. I make mine the 'traditional' way because that is experiment enough for me!

And, truthfully, I am all for experimenting. Besides,even when we do prepare the traditional recipes there, the amounts of t he various ingredients are never specified. So even traditional actually relies on the cook's inclination at a certain time.

For most of us, I think, the same dish turns out different each time because there never is a recipe to follow! (Though sometimes Iwish there was - so that I could make it as good as last time!)

That is a super duper tea ball! Well Divali is coming...or maybe when it is my birthday?

All of you are complaining about my bad timing...and after reading the things that emerge from your khauchi pishvi (Hermoine too carries such a bag, you know), I really wish I had! You didn't need another thing (okay, maybe the Tang was missing :-D ), and you had plenty of sun!

I always remember to carry my Swiss knife on our trips! But if I had a tea ball like that...it is so pretty too. I have a small one from Ikea with that handle-thingy...

Anita said...

Too long and winded you think?

LOL. Compared to who?!

Indian Food Rocks said...

Latha, welcome! What a yummy treat to see you here! I was a little thrilled with myself with that tent pic. It's one of the first night shots that has turned out OK! ;-)

Richa, if you make it nice and zhanzhanit, it's really yum. I saw Aloo at the grocers recently but it was quite pathetic so I didn't buy any. How I miss a real good aloo chi patal bhaji! My Mom would purée the aloo and add chopped corn on the cob to the bhaji. So we would eat the kernels and then dip the cob into the bhaji and slurp on it that way. Delicious!

So you can't do without peaches! Medha loves them, too! They are her favorite fruit. Have you had white peaches? The ones from CA are to die for!

Musical, can't go anywhere without a khauchi pishvi! For daily chai, I use Lipton's Yellow Label. Blasphemy for a lot of people but I like it. I like their Orange Pekoe, too. I love their Green Label Darjeeling tea as well. At the tea house, I like the jasmine white teas and the Assam black teas. Very different tastes but I like them both!

Priya, I just sent you an email.

Anita, for you I have only adoration. Happy now?! :-D There isn't much of a clean-up in this recipe - definitely no blender!

I make mental notes and then write it down right away. So then I know what I did and do it exactly that way the next time. It helps to a large extent. But when my sis gives me recipes it never tastes like the yummy stuff she keeps in her fridge for me!

What is this Divali? Never heard of it.

My Swiss Knife is another thing I never travel without. It was a permanent resident of my purse till they said no Swiss knives in carry-on luggage or handbags. Bah! Now I put it in my suitcases and hope to God that my bag does not get lost. It's a must on camping trips. It's 11 years old! And he will never let me forget that he paid $85 for it then. And we were saving every penny we had at that time so this was definitely a splurge!

Limes can be used in your tea? Or no? Too citrusy?

Long winded or long and winded?
:D Not to worry, he'll be along shortly to take your place!

J said...

Very creamy looking bhaji. ANd enjoy the trip!

Padmaja said...

Simple things does make anyone happy and content!! u'r recipe is amazing!!
enjoy u'r trip!!!

Anjali Koli said...

Manisha you seem to like chard a lot. The patal bhaji is patal bhaji that is not dry bhaji ;). I like how you gave it sonics. Arey call it Thai patal bhaji as it has coconut milk ...fusion food ...tu pun kai..it sounds so good and yummy. When did you start caring about the purists?

Latha said...

Looks like u guys had a fun time in Moab! Any vacation, away from all the work and dishes and laundry is fun! :-) The picture of Shafer trail is amazing! Almost looks like Grand Canyon! Loved u're post! And the patal bhaji looks yumm.. .even though u say its not the authentic way fo making it- i would'nt know... it looks groovy!

evolvingtastes said...

Phew, so all is well! And just to be sure, I was kidding too, when I said 'that's not how patal bhaji is made'. I am not a fan of too many emoticons, so it doesn't matter.

TheCooker said...

This is really not the way it is made....by me at least ;)
It looks positively yummy though.
I'm disappointed to know that flushable wipes are not 'flushable'. I always have several packs of those, hand santiser, and the most important item: awala supari.

Suganya said...

Tea bags, wet wipes, hand sanitiser are a must in any trip. Missed yr posts Manisha. Bought a smile to my face. BTW, what is that link to grond masala doing? Taking us few lines below :p

Bong Mom said...

Thanks for the info Manisha, shall try to get one. BTW have you tried the Quik Tea ? I like my tea with milk sugar and plenty of boiling so the Quik tea which I discovered only yesterday gives the same taste without all the jhanjhat.
Not for the true tea lovers though

Anita said...

Long winded ...and apparently, a lot of air as well...call it fusion!

Whatever happened to good old soap and water?! All that carrying of wipes and sanitiser and hoping it is better for the environment. All that packaging besides...

[I can boast can't I - and don't you call them sour grapes...It is Green, which is the buzzword that you are all trying to incorporate! Ha!]

Indian Food Rocks said...

Jyothsna, thanks on both counts!

Padmaja, thanks! The weather looks like it will cooperate but you never know, those afternoon thunderstorms can be quite nasty!

Anjali, red chard or rainbow chard, yes! I love the colors of the leaves and it is not near tasteless like the spinach out here! Thai patal bhaji sounds like a great idea!

Latha, Moab was great! The views in Canyonlands and from Dead Horse Point are as magnificent as those in Grand Canyon. Very little is known about Canyonlands as most of it is accessible only by 4-wheelers.

ET, of course all is well! :-D

TC of course not! This is the way I make it, remember?! Traditionally, fresh grated coconut is used and not coconut milk! I use it as it saves me a lot of time and the result is a great tasting patal bhaji. My maushi treated me to masoorichi patal bhaji (blurry pic) but she went the whole nine yards ad was in the kitchen for a long time. I don't have that luxury these days so I need it to be quick and yet have the same taste!

Suganya, the link to the ground masala is in preparation for other posts that might reference it and for those who may scan the post and ask, what ground masala should I use? :-D

Sandeepa, I haven't heard of Quik Tea. Although I doubt it is for me as I don't like to boil my tea or add sugar! But if I come across it, I will try it - everything at least once. Even unagi.

Anita, soap and water is the best. And that's what one uses when it's available. Given the distances we travel while on vacation here and the remote areas we visit, sometimes there are only pit toilets. And, the flushable wipes are not for the hands, my dear. Most toilets are not fitted with bidets nor is there a 'tumbler' for use! This reminds me of posts on another blog asking what readers felt about an ad for a bidet on a food blog! :-D

TBC said...

Love the look of your patal bhaji.The pic is absolutely beautiful. I used to have one of them tea- balls. After reading this, I went & hunted for mine.No luck finding it. There was a reason I had stopped using mine, can't for the life of me remember why!
There are a number of things that I just cannot do without when we travel but if I had to pick just one, it would have to be Tylenol:-)

Have a great trip!

Cynthia said...

I can just imagine the fun camping out in the backyard.

Anita said...

Ah...enlightenment (ref: wet wipes) :-D.

And it is very very green to use a tea ball - it is a mind bogling number of trees that are consumed for paper for the tea bags!

musical said...

I like the Yellow and Red Lables too :). and why is it blasphemous ;). The suit the regular chai the best!

Have to get tea-ball, sounds pretty useful!

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi btw :).

bha said...

My first time here....nice blog

coconut milk, never have ever seen that been used in patal bhaji.....aai ne banavilelya patal bhajichi athavan ali...me kadhihi nahi prayatna kela palak ani daal sobat waparnyacha

Indian Food Rocks said...

We had a super trip. Nothing eventful or uneventful happened except for seeing the top of our tent at close quarters the first night. We had to stake it down some more after the first storm. :-D Some pictures, if you are interested.

TBC, let me know if you ever figure out why you stopped using your tea ball. Maybe you just preferred the convenience of tea bags? I have to be honest - I stopped using tea bags cos the taste just didn't match up to tea brewed with loose tea leaves. In the process, I am cool and green!

Cynthia, inside the house is better! But it's nice on a cool night. We have an air bed and that makes it a little more comfortable despite Medha's view that it is lumpy. ^-^

Anita, I became green by accident! Wet wipes rock when there are no showers. As do Lysol wipes.

Musical, the purists think Yellow Label is just not good enough. Get the tea ball cos then you can heat water in a mug, dunk the tea ball in, pull it out when the tea is brewed, add milk and sugar (if you like) and your tea is ready! One mug chai. No bartan or strainer to wash. Yes, you have to wash the tea ball but it's not a big deal!

Bhags, welcome to IFR! Coconut milk lends itself to the 'quick' in the title of this post. In my family, patal bhaji usually includes fresh grated coconut that is ground in the blender or on the ragda with spices and tamarind. I usually make this on schoolnights when there is no time for laad or extra dishes. Adding coconut milk at the end is a substitute for fresh grated coconut. Also, fresh coconut is an oxymoron here in Colorado.

Pelicano said...

Do you ever add peanuts and kari patta to your kutu? :-D

Richa said...

yup, we get plenty aloo here, but that corn tip is somethinn i'll try :)
i don't think i've had CA white peaches. i usually get my peaches only from one fav farmer of mine, they are absolutely the best i've ever had :) but he puts up shop only 3 days a week, so one has to plan accordingly, yup i'm a lil' obsessed @ it. i don't even want to begin with my exp with store bot peaches :(
hope u had a good trip

Nabeela said...

Manisha, I know how you feel about neglecting other blogs.....I sadly feel the same way. To make amends, I spent 7 hours(yes, you read that right) going through my rss feeds...and I'm only upto "J"...*sigh*.
Also, I am one of those people you're talking about, who after having *loved* a recipe, won't make a single change to it. I'm very strict that way....if it needs 1 cup dried beans, it needs 1 cup dried beans, canned ones won't do....*sigh*....I hate myself sometimes :)

Lee said...

Yum, quick to fix, not too many ingredients and looks and sounds delicious! Definitely my kind of dish, and Max would love this too.

I'm so glad you are back posting! While we haven't talked much this summer (August was the month from H*ll for me with three biz trips)your influence was in my kitchen - I made Shrikhand three times, once with homemade yogurt, and made your Masoor with chard again. On one of the biz trips Charlotte and I had dinner with Russ and Rita and another couple from India who also have a clothing manufacturing business. I was telling them about the Shrikhand and beating it meditatively with a wooden spoon and the second man's jaw dropped. He does the cooking in their household and invited us to visit them and he would cook, sadly they live in upstate NY. You might wonder where we went to dinner - to a Japanese sushi buffet where we all had lots of Unagi!

I have read your posts all summer and loved the intensely beautiful photo of Medha as a butterfly, and had hoped to call you and possibly meet on another Friday night - but it was hectic all around.

Let's get together soon.


Dot said...

Rhat sure does look yummy and I'm sure it tastes that way too. I am so missing Colorado and your great cooking! Hope all is well there, the leaves are beginning to change here in Connecticut. I went to visit a friend up near Boston a few weeks ago and got hooked on fresh tea leaves! She has a tea store nearby that is a feast for the senses.


nice posy

Vidya said...

Hi Manisha.. I need some urgent gyaan! I saw your recipe for cooked lemon pickles from Sunkist lemons. What's their shelf life?? I have way too many lemons, and not enough sunlight to do things the non-cooking way. if it's not too much trouble could you mail me at vidya[dot]blog[@]gmail[dot]com
thanks a million.

Indian Food Rocks said...

Pel, patal bhaji. Not kootu. :-D I also make this with pureed spinach in which I like to add raw/uncooked peanuts. They cook along with the rest of the bhaji. Kadipatta would probably add another dimension to the flavors. Why not?!

Richa, if you ever come across white peaches, try them. They're delicious!

Nabeela, you're a little different - you do it because you found a method that appealed to you. The purists do it a particular way because that is *the* way and there can be no other. Having said that, dried beans that have been soaked overnight and cooked the next day taste way better than canned beans. But, when you have a day job that sometimes extends into the wee hours of the night cos it's still daytime in other time zones and you have a little one or tow or three to chauffeur from school to class to class, believe me, canned beans are your best friends as are other time savers.

I am reminded of my best friend...when she moved to Canada from Kenya, she told me: "We only eat fresh food made for that meal. It really does not take much to do that, you know! I don't think I will ever freeze food like you do." In about 6 months, she was a convert. :-D

Leeeeee!, a big huge hug to you! I've missed you, too! Our summer this year was even busier than last year so I totally understand how it was for you. We were talking about you just the other day and thinking that it's high time we got together for a meal. I'll be in touch soon!

Oh, and I am quite sure you and Max will enjoy this!

Dot, I am so thrilled you made it here! Welcome to IFR! Fresh brewed tea from loose tea leaves is so much better than using tea bags. Tea houses are quite the rage around here so I get to try different blends and varieties every time I visit. Try white tea if you get a chance. It is fabulous! Avoid white tea in tea bags, regardless of whether it is organic or if the tea bag was prepared without harming the earth. It's awful stuff. Fresh, on the other hand, has an aroma that soothes and pleases the senses!

I hope Angus is doing OK. We're thinking of all of you! Hugs to you all!

HKG, thank you! That rose is my first indoor rose. The other rose plants I have 'came with the house.'

Vidya, welcome! Shelf life for the lemon pickle? Refrigerated, it can be as long as 2 years. I have not tried to keep it unrefrigerated so I cannot tell you much except that my mother and my aunts have it for 6 months to a year. It depends entirely on how well you treat it - no double dipping, no wet spoons and so on.

If you read what Pel says here and here about making lemon pickle in winter. As long as your provide enough warmth and stir it everyday, you should be ok. Or try ISG's lemon pickle although she makes it with lime. It's to drool over, definitely! Or make a little of each!

Let me know how it goes!

Anonymous said...

This is something new to me. Got to give it a try.

Anita said...

Since we are talking lemon pickles (and I did not change the topic...) let it be stated, for the record, that unlike other pickles, oil free lemon and lime pickles last forever!
I remember one lime pickle my mum made whic we had for at least 6 years! And, my present lime pickle, the one consumed with made with vrat(fasting) meals and made with limes, sugar, salt, chilli powder, pieces of green chillies and ginger, is now 4 yesrs old, and going...
Yes, I make more pickle than I really need...

Pelicano said...

Hey Anita- I have some of that kind of sweet-sour lime pickle in my frig that is like 4 years old as well. Are you sure that achaar and achar aren't really the same thing? :-D

Anita said...

OMG, Pel! You're right! Achar achaar! It's probably because there is no oil that might go rancid. BTW, mustard oil never goes rancid. To which my husband used to say - it couldn't go bad anymore...Not amymore though!
But patal bhaji must never be made with mustard oil...to come back to the post topic.

Anita said...

Why do you refrigerate your pickles, Pel? Mine sit in the cupboard...

Indian Food Rocks said...

Hima, welcome! Do try it and let me know how you like it - or not!

Anita, you're saying the oil makes the pickles spoil sooner? Isn't the layer of oil supposed to prevent any schmoozing between the pickle and air? And I remember my grandmother adding more oil to her barni over a period of time.

I have never been able to test how long my pickles last, as they get consumed far to quickly. Not good. Especially since a certain someone is approaching that age where pimples and zits become more than close acquaintances. I saw kids her age with foreheads packed with what looked like the beginning of acne. I came home and said: eat more salad, child! No more pickle!

Patal bhaji with mustard oil? Never.
:-D Need to try it one day to see if it tastes bad! It should taste fine if cooked in coconut oil though.

I refrigerate my pickles, too. That just eliminates any chance of spoilage. And I take out small quantities in a smaller jar for daily use. So the large jar stays put in the refrigerator, unopened and untouched for as long as possible.

Have you checked your 4 year old for pickled mold?

Maybe it's not true love forever but pickle forever. Who knows!

Pel, if and when I visit Anita in Delhi, I will inspect this 4 year old pickle and bring back a sample for you to test for other additives. (Watch her finish that pickle now!)

Anita said...

The only pickles I keep in the refrigerator are the refrigerator pickles! There is no room for any other pickles there - remember the mango jam takes precedence.

Oil preserves but if the pickle ages it can go rancid and spoil the taste of the pickle...

There is no mold on my pickle, dear - we just had some on Gasnesh Chaturthi with sabudana khichdi. Yum. Remind me to serve you some whenever you visit - it will be around for another 4 years at least, given how often I/we fast!

Poornima said...

Made this and turned out yum.Thanks for the recipe.