Wednesday, January 24, 2007

JFI - GINGER .... Ginger Chili Pickle

It's JFI time again and our hostess this time is Rosie and the ingredient she has chosen is...... GINGER.
This root finds it's way into the Indian Kitchen in so many ways! Ginger Tea... what a wonderful and natural way to gently ease a sore throat! To say nothing of the wonderful aroma it infuses in the brew, perfect for a rainy day or a chilly winter evening!
My (late) Great Grandmother used to keep ginger candy, known as 'Aaley Paak' in Marathi, with her at all times, and in the afternoon, we, cousins would gather round and sit by her and listen to her stories (old tales from epics) where the Gods fought fiercely against the demons to protect mankind...and she would from time to time slip us each a bit of the candy! Aah! Those were the days!

This ancient root has for centuries been useful in the kitchens and medicine chests across the world! Commonly used to treat symptoms of indigestion, tastelessness, vomiting, sore throat, flatulence etc. Dried ginger powder can be used externally as well for treating headaches, by mixing a small amount of 'soonth' in warm water and applying to the forehead.

Ginger, according to old ayurvedic texts also has aprodisiacal properties and also proves effective in treating menstural problems.

Taking a U turn to cooking again.... I wondered what to make for JFI this time.. I mean Ginger is used in SO MANY things!! I was thinking of my options when my firend S literally spoonfed me an idea! she had made some pickle a couple of weeks ago, which she told me was ridiculously simple to make and yet not at all deficient in taste..... the wheels were set in motion then... what sealed the idea was the spoonful of green chili pickle she gave me to eat (just looking at the pickle bottle was not an option, when I see pickle, I eat it- mark the words 'eat' not 'taste')

Just as she said, it was simple to make and boy! talk about taste! Makes my mouth water even thinking about it! At that moment I latched her in to help me make a Ginger- chili pickle, afterall it was her recipe , my addition was the inclusion of Ginger!

This is how you do it:

1 cup of chopped green chili (spicier the better!)
1/2 cup of ginger pieces
3 tbsp. of Ground mustard (rai) seeds (rough grind)
1 tbsp Asafetida
1/4 spn. fennel (saunf) seeds
Juice on 1 lemon
2 tbsp oil
A squeaky clean and DRY bottle to store the pickle

Make sure there is no water or dampness in the mixing bowl.
Wash, dry and chop the green chilies
Peel the ginger and cut into bite size bits.
Grind the mustard seeds in the mixie
In the mixing bowl, add the ginger and chilies.
Add the mustard seed powder and the fennel seeds.
Add salt and asafetida.
Mix thoroughly.
Now transfer this mixture to the bottle, pour lemon juice in it, close the lid, shake it well.
Open, add the oil. Close the bottle tight. That's it!
Keep this in the hot sun for 3 days.... and then enjoy with ur meal.
This pickle goes well with rice khichdi and kadhi, also with yogurt rice.
Thank you Rosie for hosting this month's JFI !!

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