My aunt and I were shopping at farmers market some years ago, we saw these beautiful green limes. Lime pickle was on her mind, am so glad it was ..a wonderful gift that I absolutely relish. It is a little more than two years that she made this pickle and it is just perfect, the skin of the lime is not bitter at all, in fact it is salty-tangy and soft but not too soft. For me no Indian meal can be complete without exotic chutneys
or and pickles. There are so many variations of chutneys and pickles that one can make a meal out of it .......count me in for that one :).
This is one simple lime pickle ...perfect with a grand meal or with plain daal or curd rice and it only gets better with age. This is not one of the instant pickles, you need to wait for at least 3-4 weeks before you can start using it. It is definitely worth the wait and did I mention anti oxidant properties :)
Make sure the limes do not have any black marks on them, wash and pat dry. There should be no moisture, else it will ruin your pickle. Cut the limes about ( 8-10 if big and about 10-12 if small) into big chunky cubes. Salt liberally and toss to make sure the limes are covered thickly with salt. You could also layer : bottom layer of salt, followed by a layer of lime on it, followed by another layer of salt and so on. Leave for a few days (8-10). Let the salt do the job, you can speed up the process by keeping the salted limes in the sun. Make sure that the jar you use is sterilized and free of any kind of moisture before you fill it up with the salted limes. You will begin to notice discoloration, don't panic the salt is doing the job of pickling the limes. The salt usually brings out water from the limes, if that is not happening you need to add more salt.
Pickling is a food preservation method that uses the process of marinating it in some form of brine. The method uses the concept of creating lactic acid in a controlled environment, this results in the food being preserved by fermentation. The end product has a salty and sour taste that I love :)
You can add some green chilies - 8-10 along with the limes to spice up your pickle, salt up the green chillies in the same jar or a different one and then mix them latter. There are a list of things one can add to the lime pickle, almost all the ingredients need to be pickled or marinated before you add in the spices. Green pepper - a handful, they are the unripe green berries before they are dried as black pepper. Mango ginger -2 tbsp finely chopped: I love the mango flavor and the sweet n sour taste. You could Also add Swallow root (makaliberu in Kannada), - 2 tbsp cut into long strips it has a unique aroma and it also acts as a preservative compound for the pickle.
After it has marinated well, roast meethi seeds, let it cool and then grind it into a fine powder. Add about 2-3 tbsp of meethi powder along with red chili powder about 10-12 tbsp and mix well into the marinated lime chili mixture. Keep aside for another 2-4 weeks.
After about 2-4 weeks, you can add seasoning : in hot oil add mustard seed let it splatter add asafoetida and you are ready to serve.