Posts Tagged ‘Lemons’

Lemon Rice


2010
01.23

I had this argument  with my best friend V, who was insistent, it was rather stupid that I post this recipe. Now, arguing for both of us is second nature. And in spite of the fact that most of our phone calls have only grunts and swearing and eventual slamming down of the phones, we remain to this day the thickest of friends. I’m sorry to digress, but I had to tell you that, though I am aware of my seemingly innate habit to bicker, I am 101 percent sure she couldn’t be more wrong and I more right, in this squabble.

For one, I don’t think posting this recipe is a stupid idea. Two- V, with her pedigree from Tamil Nadu, must have had all forms of lemon rice every other day and might be able to whip it up in her sleep. But, majority of the world and my friends are not.  And I think, if not all, at least a handful of them would be interested and curious to know the recipe. So V, when you see this, hit the humph button and move on. And to those who are interested here it goes.

lemon200

Lemon rice is a quick fix dish. It is usually associated with long train rides or picnics in the south of India because it can be eaten cold, stays pretty fresh for long periods and doesn’t spoil easy.  This recipe mainly calls for white rice and lemons. Every  ingredient for seasoning barring [amazon-product type=”text” text=”mustard”]B001E6CFAW[/amazon-product] and curry leaves are optional. There are many variations in making this. Some add onions, others add grated ginger and some garnish with coconut. My secret ingredient to herald the symphony – lemon zest, when I have fresh lemons, or finely sliced pickled lemon rinds that I spoke about earlier here. I’d also like to mention that while making any form of South Indian recipes for fried rices, it makes a world of difference when you use [amazon-product type=”text” text=”sesame oil”]B000MXVH3O[/amazon-product] (the golden, cold-pressed kind. Not the dark brown from toasted seeds found in the Chinese market), instead of ordinary refined oil.

Ingredients
4 cups of cooked white rice.
2 tbsp of [amazon-product type=”text” text=”sesame oil”]B000MXVH3O[/amazon-product]  / ghee (clarified butter)
a pinch of [amazon-product type=”text” text=”asafoetida”]B000JMAXOW[/amazon-product]
2 dried red chilies – crumbled into 1’’ pieces
1 tbsp of [amazon-product type=”text” text=”split black gram”]B000K8CIZW[/amazon-product] /urad dal (optional)
1 tbsp of [amazon-product type=”text” text=”split Bengal gram”]B000K8949A[/amazon-product]/chana dal (optional)
1/4 tsp of [amazon-product type=”text” text=”fenugreek seeds”]B000RHSW10[/amazon-product](optional)
1/2 cup of [amazon-product type=”text” text=”unsalted peanuts”]B002KB440O[/amazon-product]
1 tsp of [amazon-product type=”text” text=”black mustard seeds”]B001E6CFAW[/amazon-product]
1 sprig of curry leaves
3 – 4  tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest (optional)
1/4 tsp of [amazon-product type=”text” text=”turmeric powder”]B000JMAXOC[/amazon-product]
1 tbsp of grated fresh coconut (optional)
salt to taste

Directions

  • Dry roast the [amazon-product type=”text” text=”peanuts”]B002KB440O[/amazon-product]
    and set aside.
  • Fluff up the cooked rice using a fork or your fingers. (If you are using bare hands applying a little oil to your palms make it less sticky.)
  • Heat oil/ghee in a shallow wide pan.
  • Add a pinch of [amazon-product type=”text” text=”asafoetida”]B000JMAXOW[/amazon-product].
  • Add chilies,[amazon-product type=”text” text=”split black gram”]B000K8CIZW[/amazon-product], [amazon-product type=”text” text=”split Bengal gram”]B000K8949A[/amazon-product] and [amazon-product type=”text” text=”fenugreek seeds”]B000RHSW10[/amazon-product]. sauté until it all turns golden brown. 
  • Add mustard seeds. When the [amazon-product type=”text” text=”mustard seeds”]B001E6CFAW[/amazon-product] pop, add curry leaves.
  • Add peanuts and [amazon-product type=”text” text=”turmeric powder”]B000JMAXOC[/amazon-product] and sauté for a minute.
  • Add cooked rice, salt and lemon juice and mix well.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Garnish with grated coconut and lemon zest.
  • Tickle Your Palate With Some Pickle


    2010
    01.13

    IMG_4057_2

    My Godmother Auntie M,  is my Mom’s biggest rival in the kitchen, second only to my   Grandmother (Dad’s Mother, Mom’s mom-in-law of course ;)). Auntie M is what I would call a ‘Joy in the kitchen’.  She is a big girl (hard not to be when you cook like that) and has a sense of humor to match her size. With non stop witty chatter she cooks with ease and effortlessly sprawls out such scrumptious meals that, no invitations for dining are turned down at my God Parents. One of the treats that I fondly remember on her dining table from my childhood were the assortment of  Kerala pickles she often served. She was notorious for pickling anything and everything that grew or moved. And my Godfather Uncle G, often teasingly warned us naughty kids to mind our fingers and toes lest they end up in one of her pickle jars :D.

    This post is dedicated to Auntie M from whom I learnt two wonderful things. 1-Kitchen could be fun and not just work. 2- It just takes a simple jar of home made pickles to turn an ordinary Indian meal into an extraordinary one.

    Indian pickles unlike pickles form most other parts of the world,  apart from oil and salt use lots of flavorful spices in their marinade. These are not just for preserving seasonal food for non seasonal times but, with their powerful flavors form an integral part of the Indian cuisine.

    Pickled Shrimp – Kerala Style

    shrimp2

    Among many other things, Kerala cuisine is popular for its lip-smacking zesty meat and seafood pickles. These pickles are so astonishingly flavorful that it is hard to believe they are so easy to make.[read more]

     

     

     

    Lemon Pickles – South Indian Style

    lemon2When life offers me lemons I make pickles of them. I’d suggest the same to anybody who even remotely likes the citrus family. Because making lemonade out of them, to me is like saving the wrapper and throwing away the candy. The peels with all their essential oils,[read more]

     

     

     

    Bittermelon-Carrot-Mango Pickle/Pavakka Carrot Manga Achar (Ready To Eat)– Kerala Style

    IMG_3237

    This is my Mom’s all famous  mixed pickle recipe. It comes together fairly quickly and is one of my favorites. Like all mothers do, my Mom too eyeballs all her ingredients while cooking. So the proportions ..[read more]

     

    Lemon Pickle – South Indian Style


    2010
    01.12

    IMG_4037When life offers me lemons I make pickles of them. I’d suggest the same to anybody who even remotely likes the citrus family. Because making lemonade out of them, to me is like saving the wrapper and throwing away the candy. The peels with all their essential oils, vitamins, etc ., have so much good in them that it is wasteful to throw them away. This doesn’t in anyway imply that I don’t drink lemonade. I’m guilty of that pleasure very often. But, I do try to micro-plane their zest into anything I’m cooking that day. Another way I manage to use up the lemon as a whole is to preserve them in salt, let them pickle for weeks and then when they are done I slice up the rinds and add them to any recipe void desserts that calls for lemon juice, zest or rinds and a nice tangy bite pops up here and there in the food.

    So last November, when my friends-in-law the Rs, who have these two big lemon trees in their backyard that produce tons of voluptuous sweet lemons every winter, gave me these two big bags of citrus fruit, my innate citrus love decided it was pickle time again.

    lemon2

    I mostly pickle lemons the South Indian way for no good reason but habit. The main difference between the pickles from the South to that of the North is the oil in the vinaigrette. The South uses sesame oil and in the North it is mustard. Both give very distinct unique flavors and for me it is hard to say which I like better.

    Lemon pickles take a while to get done. roughly around 1.5 to 2 months. There is an unconventional method however (not acceptable to  the gurus of pickling), that speeds up the process of pickling for you. – Gently cooking your lemons to a boil. Though this speeds up the softening process and your pickles are ready for consumption in a week, it does reduce the shelf life of the pickle. So I’d advice you to do it only if you don’t have the patience to wait for a couple of months and you plan to refrigerate your pickles.

    Ingredients:
    6 –7 lemons, cut up into triangular bite size pieces, base the number of lemons on size, it  should fill up about 3 cups
    2 tbsp ginger grated 
    1/2 cup chili powder
    1/4 cup chopped green chilies
    2 tbsp black mustard seeds
    1/2 tsp roasted fenugreek powder (dry roast fenugreek seeds and powder them)
    1/4 tsp asafoetida
    1 tsp turmeric
    3- 4 tbsp sesame oil (the golden, cold-pressed kind not the dark brown from toasted seeds found in the chinese market)
    1/3 -1/2 cup salt ( base it on taste, they should taste saltier than normal when just made.)

    Method:

  • Add chili, salt and turmeric to the lemon pieces and mix well. Make sure every piece of lemon is coated well.
  • Heat oil, add asafoetida, mustard and fenugreek powder and saute till the mustard pops.
  • Add ginger and green chilies and saute for 2-3 mins.
  • Cool it down to room temperature.
  • Add to the lemon pieces and mix well.
  • Bottle it in airtight jars and store in the coolest part of your pantry. Every couple of weeks give the jar a nice shake.

    It takes about 45 – 60 days for the pickles to be ready for consumption. When the pieces are soft you know your pickle is done

    .

  • Lemon Pickle – South Indian Style


    2010
    01.12

    IMG_4037When life offers me lemons I make pickles of them. I’d suggest the same to anybody who even remotely likes the citrus family. Because making lemonade out of them, to me is like saving the wrapper and throwing away the candy. The peels with all their essential oils, vitamins, etc ., have so much good in them that it is wasteful to throw them away. This doesn’t in anyway imply that I don’t drink lemonade. I’m guilty of that pleasure very often. But, I do try to micro-plane their zest into anything I’m cooking that day. Another way I manage to use up the lemon as a whole is to preserve them in salt, let them pickle for weeks and then when they are done I slice up the rinds and add them to any recipe void desserts that calls for lemon juice, zest or rinds and a nice tangy bite pops up here and there in the food.

    So last November, when my friends-in-law the Rs, who have these two big lemon trees in their backyard that produce tons of voluptuous sweet lemons every winter, gave me these two big bags of citrus fruit, my innate citrus love decided it was pickle time again.

    lemon2

    I mostly pickle lemons the South Indian way for no good reason but habit. The main difference between the pickles from the South to that of the North is the oil in the vinaigrette. The South uses sesame oil and in the North it is mustard. Both give very distinct unique flavors and for me it is hard to say which I like better.

    Lemon pickles take a while to get done. roughly around 1.5 to 2 months. There is an unconventional method however (not acceptable to  the gurus of pickling), that speeds up the process of pickling for you. – Gently cooking your lemons to a boil. Though this speeds up the softening process and your pickles are ready for consumption in a week, it does reduce the shelf life of the pickle. So I’d advice you to do it only if you don’t have the patience to wait for a couple of months and you plan to refrigerate your pickles.

    Ingredients:
    6 –7 lemons, cut up into triangular bite size pieces, base the number of lemons on size, it  should fill up about 3 cups
    2 tbsp ginger grated 
    1/2 cup chili powder
    1/4 cup chopped green chilies
    2 tbsp black mustard seeds
    1/2 tsp roasted fenugreek powder (dry roast fenugreek seeds and powder them)
    1/4 tsp asafoetida
    1 tsp turmeric
    3- 4 tbsp sesame oil (the golden, cold-pressed kind not the dark brown from toasted seeds found in the chinese market)
    1/3 -1/2 cup salt ( base it on taste, they should taste saltier than normal when just made.)

    Method:

  • Add chili, salt and turmeric to the lemon pieces and mix well. Make sure every piece of lemon is coated well.
  • Heat oil, add asafoetida, mustard and fenugreek powder and saute till the mustard pops.
  • Add ginger and green chilies and saute for 2-3 mins.
  • Cool it down to room temperature.
  • Add to the lemon pieces and mix well.
  • Bottle it in airtight jars and store in the coolest part of your pantry. Every couple of weeks give the jar a nice shake.

    It takes about 45 – 60 days for the pickles to be ready for consumption. When the pieces are soft you know your pickle is done

    .