Two, no, three things came together, and prompted me to have a go at making lime pickle.
1) I adore (Pataks) lime pickle with an Indian curry.
I know it divides curry eaters, but for me, a Rogan Josh or beef Madras just isn’t complete without lovely blobs of mango chutney and lime pickle. Lime pickle is also scrumptious on a toasted cheese sandwich.
2) I have a lime tree, that every winter and spring, produces lots and lots of small, highly fragrant key limes. It seems a shame not to use as many as possible.
3) Making lime pickle intrigues me. I’ve never made anything like this before. It was quite a long, but fascinating process, doing the research for this project.
I can’t even guess if my pickle is going to taste like my beloved supermarket choice, but, it has to be attempted!
Less of a pickle, and more of a fermented condiment, this is what I’ve done so far.
I gathered 10 limes, and chopped each into 8 pieces, discarding the seeds.
I then mixed the chopped fruit with 100g of salt, 15g of dried chilli powder, and 20g of dried garlic.
The mix was transferred to a glass bowl, covered, and steamed over a pan of boiling water for 2 hours.
The smell is strong, you might want to keep the exhaust fan on!
Citrus peel is tough, the steaming process softens the rind, making it more palatable.
The mix went into the sterilised jar you see in the photo.
It will be left on a sunny windowsill for 4 days. I’ll stir it every so often.
After this time is up, it’ll be time for the next step.
I’ll be frying Indian spices, like mustard, cumin and coriander in oil, and adding this to the mix.
It’ll then get another rest in a sunny place.
I will fill you in as each stage happens. I’ll be sure to offer exact ingredients and quantities too, just in case you’re thinking of making some yourself.
To my mind, my pickle is very much like kimchi at the moment. Limes, not cabbage, obviously, but salt, chilli powder, and a fermentation period – very interesting!
’till next time