Mixed Vegetable Pickle

An inspiration from the pickle served at Pittsburgh. I love that pickle so much I eat with everything I eat there. Ginger and Green chilies was a good addition. I used the long cayenne peppers, which are lovely to look at and are not that really hot.
12 Green Limes
3 Carrots
1/2 lb Long Green Chilies
Few Curry Leaves
1/4 cup Red Chili Powder
1/4 cup Fenugreek seeds – Menthulu
A little less than 1/4 cup Mustard seeds
½ cup Salt
1 cup Oil – preferably Sesame/Gingerly oil
1 tsp Turmeric
½ tsp Asetifodia /Hing – preferably crystal hing for more aroma

Wash, wipe and let air dry the vegetables for some time before working on them. This method needs an approximate eye balling; depending on the size of the lime, the spices should be adjusted. The spicey/karam of pickle normally reduces in a few days. Prepare the spice mix only after sun drying the vegetables. The quantity of the pieces will shrink after drying. Use spice mix according to personal taste.

We would need half and half of lime pieces and juice. so, divide the lime into 2 halves. Cut the edges and make small pieces of one half of the limes and squeeze juice from the other half, remove seeds if any and mix both in a glass bowl.

Peel and cut carrots into strips. Cut green chilies also of same length. Peel and cut ginger into small strips.

All all the vegetables in a glass bowl add salt, turmeric and mix well and store in a warm place for 2 – 3 days. Once a day, mix well and store it back. If you taste a piece, it will be really salty, do not worry, it will settle when the other spices are added.

On the 3rd day, use a strainer and separate the pieces and the oota/juice, using your hand/palm to squeeze out any juice remaining. Sundry them separately. Spread the slices on a basin/plate/cover and the juice/oota in a bowl. Dry them till the pieces become dry for about 1 - 2 days. Meanwhile the oota/juice will become concentrated and salt will sediment on the side of the bowl.

Do not start mixing the pickle when the slices are hot from the sun, let them come to room temperature.

In a skillet heat 1 cup of oil on low/medium flame and when hot add 1 tsp of mustard seeds and a handful of broken/split red chilies and few curry leaves. When mustard seeds splutter remove from flame and when oil settles down, add hing and let cool. Bring to room temperature.

Take 1 tsp of oil in a skillet and add fenugreek seeds and fry them till nicely done and then add the mustard seeds and fry till they splutter. Remove and let cool. Dry grind the mix to a smooth powder, this is called menthi powder.

Mix the dry menthi powder and red chili powder in the oota/juice and then, the dried vegetable pieces. Once that is all thoroughly mixed then add the previously made oil tadka and mix well. Leave it in the same bowl for 1 or 2 days and keep mixing thoroughly. Then transfer into an air tight container and store in a cool place.

A good side dish with plain rice and curd rice. It can also be used as a side dish with roti and chapati. Use dry hands and keep away from water for a good shelf life.

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