It’s impossible to have the perfect curry experience without a good pickle or chutney. It’s a very personal thing, and every Indian grocer will want to foist their preference on you. One thing’s for certain – it needs to be spicy and salty to act as a seasoning for your curries, yoghurts, or breads.
It might take a few tries to find the pickle that you like – and what better way to to get the perfect pickle than to make you own?
This lime pickle has the chilli and salt profile that I like – it’s quite strong. It’s based on a very traditional recipe. You can dial this recipe up or down to suit your preference.
100ml extra lime juice
3 tbsp salt
3 tbsp ground chilli or flakes
1 whole head of garlic
Rice bran oil (or another vegetable oil)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
A pinch asafoetida (hing)
Makes about two jars.
Slice the limes in half, and then thinly across, like you’d do to put in a Corona. The traditional way is to cut the limes into quarters but I find this way is easier to eat.
Blend up the garlic cloves in a food processor. Mix up the limes with the salt, chilli and garlic in a bowl.
Now, steam the mixture for 15 minutes by putting the whole bowl in a steamer.
Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave in a warm place for two days.
Fry up the cumin, mustard seeds and hing in hot oil for about a minute. Mix the oil and spices in with the limes.
Cover and leave in a warm place for two more days. Then, it’s ready to bottle into jars.