“Lemon pickles you are not coming back because I am in love with the Musambi achar”.
My mom is a an expert on pickles and so I started pickling quite early in my kitchen. I love pickles and buy quite a few of them apart from pickling. Sweet pickles aren’t my favourites usually but that was until I came across this Musambi achar by my dear friend Pradeepettan. He is very gifted cook and loves making pickles. This is the first pickle of his that I tasted and we became friends ever after. I guess I love this one because it is very spicy and sweet both at the same time. He told me how to do this pickle but he did not give me the proportions. So this is my first batch with my guesswork on how his version was. This musambi achar is a bit sweet with the addition of jaggery and it is done to cut the tartness of the musambis. The skin of musambi unlike other lemons is tough and very bitter so a generous amount of vinegar and jaggery is added to make this pickle perfect for consumption. I have omitted usual additions like ginger, garlic, ginger-garlic paste for this version and kept it simple to bring out the flavours of musambi.
There are various ways to pickle this fruit I plan to try the other methods after this one. So if you love pickling, and sweet lime interests you, go ahead and make a small batch. I have not opened my bottles, I plan to do it by May. That’s the resting time I am giving these beauties. But I can’t forget Pradeepettan’s pickle, I so wish I had bought more of them from him. I hope my batch turns out like his and I have saved a bottle for my mom, can’t wait to hear her verdict which is not gonna be easy on me :)
Ingredients for Musambi Achar (Sweet Lime Pickle)
Musambi- 1 kg
Jaggery- 1 kg
Vinegar- 1 liter
Salt- 200 g
Chili powder- 100 g
Kashmiri chili- 200 g
Turmeric Powder- 50 g
Asafoetida- 2 tbsp
Fenugreek Powder- 1 tsp
Mustard seeds- 100 g
Gingelly oil- 200 ml
To begin with the musambi achar, wash the musambis and cut them into small pieces. Throw away the seeds that are visible to you and retain the rest. In a sterile jar add 100 g salt, half the jaggery melted,strained and cooled along with half the vinegar (500g jaggery+500 ml vinegar+ 100g salt). Add the chopped musambi pieces into this mixture and stir them together using a sterile spoon. Close the jar tightly and let it rest for a month. This will reduce the bitterness of the musambi when you proceed pickling. After a month you can proceed to the next stage of pickling. Start by boiling the leftover jaggery and straining it. After this heat the oil in a big pan and add the mustard seeds. When the mustard splutters, add the spice powders and saute them over low flame for 4-5 minutes. Now add the musambi with the jaggery and vinegar reserve from the jar in which it was stored for a month. Now add the leftover jaggery, salt and vinegar. Let the musambi pickle simmer in the sauces for 5- 10 minutes and switch off the flame. Ensure that the oil stands above the pickle and once the musambi pickle cools down transfer the contents to sterile jars. Let the pickle rest for 1 month and you can start using it.
I am not happy with my pictures this time, but let that not deter you from pickling, I will do a couple of shots when I open the pickles in May. But I hope you will pickle your lot by then and write to me. Stay tuned for some exciting posts coming up soon….. Till then stay blessed, eat healthy.