Several unique varieties of pickles that spice up our palate and taste buds with a spicy and tangy hit of flavours, and Mangoes, Lemons and Chillies are indisputably the most favourite ingredients. Lemon Pickle is one of the main dishes for Kerala Sadya.
8 medium sized whole lemons, 10 garlic cloves, skin removed and julienned, 1 tbsp ginger, julienned, 1 large green chilly, sliced, ½ cup gingelly oil (sesame oil), 1 tbsp mustard seeds, 3 tbsp chilly powder, ¼ tsp ground fenugreek, A pinch of asafetida, 2 tsp white vinegar, Salt, A sprig of curry leaves, Water
Place lemons in a steamer and cook for about 8-10 minutes. Then remove them from the steamer and pat dry with a paper towel to remove excess water.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Shallow fry the lemons for 2-3 minutes. Allow to cool, and cut them into four bite-sized pieces. Try to preserve as much juice as possible. Place the lemons in a deep bowl and sprinkle with salt. Mix well and keep aside for 5-10 minutes.
Heat the remaining oil in a deep pan. Splutter mustard seeds. Throw in curry leaves, ginger, and garlic. When fried reduce heat to low, and fry chilly powder, ground fenugreek, and asafetida. Add the lemon pieces and mix well. Now you can also add white vinegar and water enough to cover the lemon pieces. Mix well again and stir in enough salt. Now increase the heat and bring it to boil. Then simmer again for 1-2 minutes.
When cooled, transfer lemon pickle to warm, sterilized jars.