Garlic Pickle

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Summer here is all about eating ice creams and lemonades, however summers in India are very different. In addition to it being the time for mangoes, it is also the time my grand mother used to gear up to make vathal,applam and pickles. Pickle making was reserved for the summer months, and although this particular recipe is not something you have to make in the summer, the memory is what has prompted me to post it now.

This is a very very old post that has been lying in my drafts for a long time. In fact, this pickle is specially made as a postpartum food for mothers, and that’s when I had made it. My mom didn’t come for the birth of my second son, but she had hand written a recipe for making this and sent me the spice powder to make it as well. This was one item I made the weekend before my scheduled C section – in addition to other things, to ensure I was prepared to come home with my baby. My son is two years old now, that’s how long its been since I made it the last time, but I have been craving this pickle and I decided to post it so that I can make another batch this week.

This is a very easy recipe and uses ayurvedic ingredients that aid in digestion, cleanse your system and build immunity. Garlic has found to be a natural way to prevent cholesterol and heart disease and this is a very yummy way to ensure you include it in your diet.

Ingredients:
For spice powder:

20 – 30 red chillies(depending on how spicy you like it to be)
2 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 1/2 tbsp fenugreek
2 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
2 1/2 tbsp pepper
2 tsp asafoetida

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For pickle:
5 cups of peeled garlic, sliced if the cloves are too big
1 cup spice powder(from above)
1 1/2 cup thick tamarind extract(if watery extract use 2 cups)
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
200 ml gingelly oil
2 tsp mustard

Method:
For spice powder:
Dry roast each item seperately. Let it cool and grind to a fine powder. This powder can be stored in an air tight container and can be used when making kara kuzhambu, vatha kuzhambu, puli kuzhambu etc.in addition to using it for making this pickle.

For pickle:
Heat 3 tbsp of gingelly oil. Add the peeled, sliced garlic and saute over medium heat until cooked, but not too soft – for about 6-8 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil. Add the mustard seeds, let it splutter. Add the reserved tamarind extract, salt, turmeric powder and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until raw smell of tamarind goes away, and it becomes a thick syrup. Add the lemon juice and bring to a boil again. Add the cooked garlic and let the garlic cook for about 5 minutes, and add the spice powder. Mix the spice powder into the garlic and tamarind and let the mixture cook over medium heat until it thickens, comes together and oil floats to the top. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

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Bottle in a clean dry glass container. Store in fridge for up to a month.

Verdict: This garlic pickle is a great condiment, and also very addictive. I lived on this for about a month – had it with pretty much everything from rice, rotis, idlies and dosas. My absolute favorite pickle ever!

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