Chilli Pickle

We were given a big bag of chillies yesterday and seeing as how I’m the only one who eats them, I decided to preserve a few. This is my Chilli Pickle recipe – this is a great way to spice up a mild Indian dish without using hot sauce, which may kill the Indian flavours.  

BEFORE STARTING: Do your research on  pickling and health issues associated with pickled foods – ALWAYS adhere to health and safety standards. Proper canning and a sterile environment will avoid the development of any nasties! This is how I do it, but take personal responsibility for you and your family.

Ingredients:

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2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp turmeric
A pinch of salt
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 small knob of ginger (grated)
3 tsps brown sugar
1/8 cup groundnut oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
250 grams chillies
Juice of half a lemon (or cut lemon into thin wedges)

Method:

You need the long, thin chillies to keep the Indian flavour. Jalepanos or the like will not give the same flavour.

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Chop the chillies in to segments – larger pieces can be cut in half again. Don’t take out the seeds – this is meant to be hot! You’ll also lose a lot of the bulk by removing seeds/pith.

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Gently fry the chillies and ginger in the oil. Don’t fry on too high a heat or they will burn. A gentle fry kills a lot of the heat, but the oil will retain the flavour.

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Add in the cumin, mustard seeds, turmeric and salt and allow to reduce.

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You can add in a squeeze of lemon for extra tang. If you’re stupid (like me) you can cut half a lemon into thin wedges and add that in to the pickle. Carry on frying gently for about 10 mins.

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Add in the vinegar and brown sugar and cover. Reduce to a low heat for 10 more mins.

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During this time, boil some water and put your jar in for a few mins to sterilise – move the jar around so all surfaces are sterilised.

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If you’re foolish, open the lid and take a big breath in through your nose – it’s very, very powerful. If you want it more powerful, add in a tablespoon or two of balsamic vinegar.

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Put in to jars.

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The pickle is ready immediately, but leaving it for a couple of days will help to intensify the flavour further. Keep in the cupboard for a couple of weeks or a fridge for a couple of months. Great as a condiment to spice up your milder dishes without losing the Indian flavours.

 

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