This recipe was one of the first that I attempted from Madhur’s World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking, and I’ve been making it once a year since. As she states in the recipe’s introduction, this pickle- traditional to her Delhi-centered family- is hot! And also very good…very good for perking up other dishes, very good on sandwiches (even mixed into mayonaise or cream/Philly cheese/ yoghurt cheese to make spreads), very good with yoghurt-rice, and also great with Mexican food!
This is a salt-cured pickle, so be sure to use thin-walled chiles (similar to the ones pictured); the chiles soften fastest when set in warm sunlight during the day, but it does just as well if left on the counter-top at room temperature- it’ll just take longer. In the hot and sunny days of summer, this pickle will be ready in about a week or so; either way, just keep checking and stirring it daily until it’s ready. If you enjoy spicy relishes, this pickle is a must, and worth the daily ritual!
Madhur Jaffrey’s Green-chile Pickle
1/2 lb. fresh hot green chiles (about 2 C shaken to settle in the cup)
4 T whole black mustard seeds
4 t salt
1 t ground red chiles (or more or less to taste- honestly, I stick with 1 t!)
1″ of fresh ginger, peeled and minced finely (I used home-made ginger paste)
2 T mustard oil
A pinch of hing/asafoetida (optional- my addition)
3 T lemon (or lime) juice
1)Wash and dry the whole green chiles thoroughly, then trim the stems off each and slice into thin rounds. Place in a bowl.
2)Grind the mustard seeds to a powder, then add this to the bowl along with the salt, ground red chiles, and ginger. Mix thoroughly.
3)Heat the oil in a small pan to smoking; add the hing (if using), turn off heat and let cool completely. Pour this over the mixture in the bowl and mix well.
4)Place this mixture into a small crock or jar (a crock works better as direct sunlight will leech the colour from the pickle), cover with a non-metal lid (I use a small piece of cotton muslin- keeps bugs out- and a ceramic plate), and place in a sunny spot for a day. Stir the container at least twice for this first day.
5)The next day, take off the lid and mix in the lemon/lime juice…
6)For the next few days, either keep the container near a sunny window or set it outside in a sunny spot (bringing it indoors at night), and stir the pickle once daily. (I have even made this pickle in winter-time by keeping it near a heating register!) The pickle is ready to eat when the chiles soften and turn a bit pale.
7) Spoon it into a clean jar and cover.
Here’s a photo of the finished pickle…
Ooops! Nope, it’s my cat Claireau. Nice kitty. I doubt if he’d want to try some, but if he does he’ll have to make do until the pickle is done- a week or so; then I’ll post the pic here!