Pickle at anytime is a favorite in every household and to resist a quick-make of the traditional pickle done in bulk in a few minutes using a pressure cooker is hard to resist! When lemon pickle is needed in a short time skipping the required time of 10 to 15 days for seasoning as in wedding or social events, it is a normal practice to blanch the lemon and pickle it in spices, and in such cases the shelf life of long months is not guaranteed. Cooking the lemon in its juice and spices in pressure cooker with a little vinegar to prolong its shelf life simplifies the effort of pickling. This method is based on the method suggested by a well-known chef (Ramakrishnan) and tried by one of his ardent followers with my tweaks to suit my needs.
Ripe lemons 10 (medium-sized (US) or big as per Indian standard (app. ½ kg)
Green chill paste 1 tsp (optional)
Grated ginger 2 tsp (optional)
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Red chilli powder 2 tsp (heaped)
Salt 2 tbsp
Fenugreek seed powder ½ tsp
Asafotida ½ tsp
Sugar 1 tbsp
Sesame oil 2 tbsp
White vinegar 3 tbsp
- Wash, wipe and slice the lemon into 8 or more pieces to get 1″ pieces.
- In a large bowl add all the spices (saving oil and vinegar) and mix them well using a spatula.
- Drop the cut lemon pieces into the spice mix and fold in gently.
- Place a stainless steel pressure pan on the stove and layer the base with oil. The next layer will be the spiced lemon pieces.Pile them over oil in such a way that they do not touch the walls of the pan.
- Close the pan with the lid and place the weight over the nozzle.
- Let the pickle cook over medium flame till three whistles are heard. Switch off the flame and wait for the pickle to cool down.
When you open the lid you will find the lemon pieces soaked in its juice with a lovely flavor. Mix well with a spatula and transfer the contents to a sterile bottle.
- Rinse the pan with vinegar and pour it over the pickle in the bottle to act as preservative.
Wait for a couple of days for the pickle to marinade well before use
- Please use a stainless steel pan as aluminium is likely to leach in citric acid.
- Use medium heat and the first whistle is heard in about 5 minutes with successive whistles in intermissions of a minute each.
- If you like a sweeter flavor you can add a spoon of fennel seed powder,