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Showing posts with label easy pickle recipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label easy pickle recipe. Show all posts

Monday, February 28, 2022

Jujube Pickle ( Koli Achara)

As grandma's little helper, one of the most coveted tasks was helping her get the jujubes prepped for making the pickle every year. Kilos of Jujubes would be washed, sorted, cracked open to check for infestation, and left in the sun for 2-3 days during which the stock would diminish exponentially.  At the best, only a quarter of it made into the pickle jars. The jars were themselves cleaned out in record time. Only a minuscule quantity would remain hidden by my grandmother and we would wait for it to be miraculously taken out once in a while. While we kids always denied our involvement in the mystery of the disappearing jujubes, all the gluttony left its tell-tale signs in the form of stomach upsets and persistent coughs. 

As a result, we were often suspended from guard duties and the jujubes would be sun-dried only when we were away in school. But the tantalizing smell of ripe jujubes is something that is hard to miss. And we kids would always sniff out the hidden stash and devour them. Over the years, the number of pickles being made at home decreased. And so did the quantities. I myself did not miss them much as I rarely had them.

Then came the lockdown and suddenly pickles were back on the plates. With veggies in short supply, pickles, and papads filled in the gaps. I found out that I quite enjoyed the process of making pickles, especially the quick ones. Sharing one of my favorites - 

Jujube Pickle 

Ingredients -

  • 750 gm of jujube
  • A lemon sized ball of tamarind
  • 200 gm jaggery
  • 1 tbsp of fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 3-4 dry red chilis
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Pre- Preparation - Wash and dry the jujube in the sun for a day or two. 

Remove the small stem sticking to the berries and crack them open to check for insect infestations. This also allows the seasoning to penetrate properly.

Allow the jujube to dry for another day in the sun.

Preparation - Soak a lemon-sized ball of tamarind in 1/2 cup water for 1 hour. Smash the tamarind and strain the liquid. (Use the discarded solids to shine your brass/copperware.)

Dry roast 1 tbsp of fennel seeds, 1 tsp of cumin seeds, 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds and 3-4 dry red chilis each separately till they turn aromatic. Allow to cool down completely before grinding into a medium-fine powder which is sometimes referred to as the 'khatta masala' or the 'achara masala'. Each household has its own version.

Cooking - Heat a non-reactive saucepan and remember to keep the flame low. Add the tamarind extract. Allow it to come to a boil before adding 200 gms of jaggery and salt as per taste. Once the bubbles start to appear, add 2 heaped cups of the partially dried jujube. 

The mixture will continue to froth and foam for some time before starting to acquire a stringy consistency. At this stage, it needs to be stirred continuously.

Once the strings start getting thicker, add a tsp of the khatta masala. Mix for a minute or two before removing from the flame.

Allow to cool down completely before storing in a glass jar. The shelf life of this pickle is directly proportional to one's willpower but it lasts about 6-8 months when stored in an airtight jar in a cool dry place.

Now, for a zero waste recipe that one will need to use up the bits sticking to the saucepan. I personally find it too flavourful to be wasted.

Once you have transferred the jujube pickle to a jar, add half a cup of hot water to the saucepan to dissolve the jaggery and spices sticking to it. I usually leave in 4-5 pieces of the pickled jujube for extra flavor.

Put another pan on the burner. Add a teaspoon of mustard oil.
Once it gets smoking, add 4 medium-sized tomatoes that have been washed and quartered. Saute on high for 2 mins.

Sprinkle salt and cover for 3-4 mins on low flame. Open the lid and mash the tomatoes with a heavy spatula or spoon. 

Once tomatoes are mushy, transfer them to the other saucepan in which you made the jujube pickle. Turn the flame to medium and cook the mixture till the sauce thickens.

Taste the sauce and adjust the salt/jaggery/seasoning as required. Switch off the flame.

In another wok, add 1-2 teaspoons of mustard oil. Once it gets smoking, add 1/2 tsp pancha-phutana and broken dry red chili. Once the seeds stop spluttering, add a sprig of curry leaves. Pour it over the tomato khatta/chutney. 

Serve it with rice, roti, paratha or any other kind of Indian bread.

Note - This masala is also used to season the various kinds of 'Khatta' like Amba(mango) khatta, Sapuri(pineapple) khatta, Karamanga(starfruit) khatta, etc.


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