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now i thought gooseberry was nellikai, which looks nothing like amla.  hmm.

I am now completely confused. Amla is "Aamloki" is Bengali, which I *thought* was the same thing as Phyllantus Acidus: http://www.tropilab.com/phyllantus-acidus.html

Isn't Nellikai the same thing?

Isn't gooseberry the same thing?

Phyllanthus emblica and phyllanthus indofischeri are what's generally knowm as amla/nellikai. http:// www.ias.ac.in/currsci/jun252003/1515.pdf (problem posting link).

the other one phyllanthus acidus(and one very like it with fruit along the branches)are less astringent,more succulent-a bit like a carambola.

yeah - here's a better picture of what grew in my grandmother's frontyard:

http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/otaheite_gooseberry.htm

http://www.uog.edu/CALS/site/POG/phyllantus.html

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The essential pickle in my household, one which I get very agitated about if it is not lurking in my fridge at all times, is misqut, from Goa.

It's a spicy, vinegary, piquant preparation, made mostly of small and tender good quality green mangoes. These are first slit and salted and pressed for days under a very heavy weight, then stuffed with a combination of spices including hing and turmeric and chilis and mustard seeds, then submerged in hot oil made fragrant with further spices.

Give it a year or so in the jar (my current stash is from 2000) and the pickle that you end up with is unbeatable with chicken or prawn or fish curry, or most anything else.

Misqut is now on my shopping list.

Bhelpuri would you be kind enough to PM me your favourite Fish Curry recipe?

I have bought some lovely red rice and a goan fish curry would go well with it.

I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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Anyone has experience of making pickle with the localy available raw mangoes in USA. Which one are best suitable for pickle making.

I buy green mangoes at a Phillipine market to make green mango, chile, lime pickle.

The regular mangoes become too mushy, even when underipe. But that is just my opinion.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Bhelpuri would you be kind enough to PM me your favourite Fish Curry recipe?

I have bought some lovely red rice and a goan fish curry would go well with it.

what is this pm business? the rest of us want to know as well!

and perhaps we should set up a pickle exchange network in the u.s.

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eGullet gourmet 'exchange'!i don't know but when i hit the doldrums food wise(yes it happens -there are days when i really don't know what i want to eat!)nothing works better to fix that than bread and pickle-any pickle. :biggrin:

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jw46,there's always gooseberry chutney(try with indian chutney spicing)and i suspect quinces would behave more like the indian gooseberry so there are possibilities!

always willing to experiment with ingredients I have at hand...

Sometimes sublime, sometimes off to the trash...If it doesn't eat me first willing to try anything....

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My pickle audit of what's currently available at home. The selection is influenced by the fact that I don't really like most mango and lime pickles. I think most commercial pickle manufacturers make their pickles too acid to begin with, and when you combine this with the natural acidity of green mangos and lime, the result is too mouth puckering for its own good.

Perhaps the problem is that I don't get homemade versions of these often. My family makes other kinds, of which more in a minute, but not these two, so I don't have nostalgic memories of them. The only mango pickle I ever really fell for was a dark stick mass on sweet-sour mango pulp that a friend's grandmother in Himachal made. She died last year and since no one else in her family is able to make it, I'm going to have to resign myself to never eating it again (unless Rushina can find something that matches in her trip to the hills...)

(Madhur Jaffrey has a nice passage about pickles and how certain varieties vanish with their makers in her Introduction to Indian Cooking book. She was talking about a lime pickle her grandmother, and only her gradmother could make. After the old lady died, the remaining batch was carefully doled out among her descendants. One interesting point here was how she says her grandmother always insisted that only one of the servants was entrusted with the job of turning the pickles in their crocks with his hand - apparently only he had the right hand for doing this. And apparently when someone else's hand was used, the pickles did go bad. A coincidence, or could some quality about someone's hand really affect the pickle?)

Back to my pickles. The other problem I have is that many of my favourite pickles are made from ingredients that are either too local or hard to get. For example, for ages I have been longing for a Coorgi bamboo shoot pickle that was available in Nilgiri's in Bangalore, but is no longer seen. It was wonderful stuff, that seemed to use more pepper than chillis, as would probably have been traditional in that region before chillies came. This also prevented the slightly starchy sweet flavour of bamboo shoot from being drowned out. From my point of view, almost the only benefit of Episure moving to Bangalore was that finally there was someone who could track it down, but it doesn't look like he's had much luck.

Similarly there a wonderful mussel pickle made in North Kerala (kalamakai pickle) which had this marvellous tang of the sea to balance out the sour and hot flavours. My great grandmother in Tellicherry would make them from big orange mussels and ship them to her family, who would treat it with reverance. To eke out the flavour my mother would cut carrots into sticks (only because of the orange colour, I think) and dunk them in the pickle, to eat when the mussels were over. Getting this pickle here in Bombay is almost impossible - Goan mussel pickle is available, but the overuse of vinegar, I feel, drowns out the mussel taste.

Anyway, finally coming to my audit:

- stuffed green chillies, from two places. One, slightly more pungent, from Motilal Masalawala, old and reliable Bombay store. The other, slightly fresher and should be refrigerated, from a small shop outside the Jain temple on Malabar Hill which serves excellent Jain pickles and savouries.

- Rushina is too modest to say this, but her mother makes an awesome sweet and hot pickle (well chutney is more like it) from a whole bunch of ingredients that Rushina says she doesn't know or is trying to keep secret. She gave me a bottle that is now almost empty...

- Curry leaf thokku, a south Indian sort of pickle. This is interesting, as almost the only dish where curry leaves are used in themselves, and its quite good. Also, I'm told, very healthy. I have a brand from Madras, Sri Ganeshram's.

- Onion pickle, from Priya Pickles, using those small Madras onions that either are, or double up as, shallots. Not bad, though too acid like most commercial pickles and I don't think I'll be buying it again.

- Carrot and dry fruit pickle, from Motilal's. This is the great Parsi pickle, the one that's served with crisp puffy fried sago papads at all their weddings. Its the first item of the lagan-nu-bhonu, the wedding feast, and I always OD on it then, even when I know that there are innumerable dishes to come. Its sweet and fruity and just faintly hot. But I have to note that having bought this months back, I still haven't opened it, which goes to show that some pickles are perhaps best enjoyed only in context.

- Ginger thokku, from MTR. This is EXCELLENT. Hot, but not too hot, and with just the right amount of ginger burn. I have four jars which is an indication of how much I like it.

- Tomato pickle, from MTR again. I bought this with big expectations, after the ginger thokku, but while its not bad, its not that exciting either.

- OK, big drum roll for the real pickle de resistance, and the only reason its still in the fridge is because I've just come back from Madras, otherwise between the bf and me, it doesn't last too long. Its the prawn pickle made by Vijayan, our resident genius cook in Madras. Its in the North Kerala style and is HOT, with no over use of vinegar to conceal the taste. Its made with the small strong tasting prawns so their flavour just makes it through the eat.

Eating this is agony (especially the next morning), but it is a delicious and irresistable agony, especially when eaten plain on bread with a few fresh tomato slices on top to balance the taste, and slightly cool things down. Today morning I went into the kitchen to make breakfast and found the jar was already out - at 9.00 am! - and the bf with a half-ashamed, half-defiant face.

Vijayan makes this in industrial quantities to send out to all in the family (for some reason, all sons-in-law particularly love this), and we all dread the day when he can make it no more. My sister has extracted the recipe from him and one of these days I will have to try it, but I need to get a proper grinding stone first since one of the secrets, apparently, is that the spices have to be ground coarser than you can do in an electrical grinder.

Vikram

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Back to my pickles. The other problem I have is that many of my favourite pickles are made from ingredients that are either too local or hard to get. For example, for ages I have been longing for a Coorgi bamboo shoot pickle that was available in Nilgiri's in Bangalore, but is no longer seen. It was wonderful stuff, that seemed to use more pepper than chillis, as would probably have been traditional in that region before chillies came. This also prevented the slightly starchy sweet flavour of bamboo shoot from being drowned out. From my point of view, almost the only benefit of Episure moving to Bangalore was that finally there was someone who could track it down, but it doesn't look like he's had much luck.

Vikram

I'm surprised that you mention this because I am under the impression that it's reached you a fortnight ago ( + one for Rushina). I thought that you two are travelling so havent had the time to acknowledge it.

I will remind my Bombay friend to send it across to you, unless it has been delivered to your office in your absence.

I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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(Madhur Jaffrey has a nice passage about pickles and how certain varieties vanish with their makers in her Introduction to Indian Cooking book. She was talking about a lime pickle her grandmother, and only her gradmother could make. After the old lady died, the remaining batch was carefully doled out among her descendants. One interesting point here was how she says her grandmother always insisted that only one of the servants was entrusted with the job of turning the pickles in their crocks with his hand - apparently only he had the right hand for doing this. And apparently when someone else's hand was used, the pickles did go bad. A coincidence, or could some quality about someone's hand really affect the pickle?)

this reminds me--when my father was stationed in hashimara (north bengal--in the dooars tea growing region) we had some tea-planter friends. in particular there was a rajput family from rajasthan whose house i used to eat a lot of meals at--their son was in my class and was a good friend slash bully. (by the way, i know that the tea industry in general and in bengal in particular is in very dire straits; as i look back at how these planters lived--each meal was an elaborate event--i think i get a sense of the general economic practices that may have contributed to their demise.) one of the best pickles i have ever had (and as i remember it now, my mouth curls in memory) was a sweet lime pickle that was made in their home. it was almost white in colour--none of that yellowishness or redness that is a hallmark of so many indian pickles. i have searched high and low for this pickle in years since, but have concluded it is only made in homes. i don't know if it is a rajasthani thing or whether this was something that had hybridized between my friend's mother and her north bengali cooks.

very few people in my family make pickles, so we ourselves are not the cause of any pickles disappearing from the earth (unless, of course, you count the fact that we've eaten more than our fair share of them).

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I will remind my Bombay friend to send it across to you, unless it has been delivered to your office in your absence.

Oh god, maybe there are secret bamboo pickle addicts in this office who gobbled it in my absence. Or maybe it was Rushina's brother. Or maybe its still here under the mountains of papers on my table. Will investigate, and please ask your friend as well. But thanks for finding it,

Vikram

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That reminds me of the time when years ago someone came to my house in Bombay with 5 massive jars of various pickles. I told him that it's the wrong house but he insisted that he had been asked by his employer to deliver to this apartment.

Not wanting to argue with this courier of heavenly smelling pickles, I took delivery and before he could realise his mistake and come back to claim them, I promptly took my 'cut' of each of those jars. :raz:

He did turn up again and reclaimed them but by then I had added some new varieties to my pickle shelf. :biggrin:

Edited by Episure (log)

I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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  • 3 weeks later...

Rather late in life I've come to bafenu, the classic Parsi pickle made with a whole ripe Alphonso mango, and I am now kicking myself for missing out on this so long.

(Actually as soon as I tasted it I remembered eating it as a kid at the homes of Parsi friends. I had this vivid flashback to meals all formally laid out, lots of linen and cutlery and porcelain bowls, and the starchy voice of my friend's grandmother telling us we had to finish the bowl of rather inspid soup before we were allowed to go on to the lacey cutlets and dhan-dhar-nu-patia, along with which, I'm guessing, came the bafenu).

I found the bafenu at the Ratan Tata Institute, an old Bombay institution on Hughes Road where Parsi food is made by a woman's help organisation. Sometime back I think Bhelpuri or someone else from Bombay was lamenting how the quality had fallen - the chicken patties no longer as flaky and satisfyingly full of chicken as he remembered.

This is probably true - the place didn't look particularly packed the day I went (the fact that it has no parking and is on a really busy junction doesn't help) - and I didn't feel tempted to try the patties. But the pastries looked as luridly coloured and inviting as when I was a kid, and while I resisted them, I didn't resist a date stuffed pastry or a dal-pori (like an ultra thick cake like puran poli) and they were both good, if heavy. There were long rolls of green-black patrel waiting to be cut, foil containers of dhansak waiting to be picked up for lunch and the plastic packets of bafenu, double packed for safety.

I bought one and could hardly wait to go home and open it. And when I did, the anticipation was totally justified. Bafenu is made with a tart substance, mangoes (although ripe ones) and I think it includes lots of vinegar, the fabulous cane vinegar produced in Navsari by Kolah's, yet it doesn't have that palate shrivelling sourness that I think mars too many commercial pickles from India. Its sweet, but not jam like, hot, but not searing, almost a really intense mango curry rather than a pickle. I could certainly eat it alone and that's what dinner was, along with wonderful multi-grain bread from Yazdani.

An exiled Bombayite once asked me to make him a care package of things to remind him of the city. I didn't ever get round to doing it, but if I do, a packet of bafenu will go in.

Vikram

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I have just picked up a papaya chutney from Dehra Dun that I am looking forward to trying.

Have a Sindhi grated mango pickle coming my way soon. I tried that it was really yummy.

Where can I find the lagan pickle Vikram. I read about it recently and i want to try it. And no a parsi wedding is not an option.

Rushina

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Where can I find the lagan pickle Vikram. I read about it recently and i want to try it. And no a parsi wedding is not an option.

Motilal Masalawala. There's a big shop at Nana Chowk which has most of their stuff (don't forget to get a packet of Kolah's vinegar), but if you can make it to their old shop near CP Tank do so, there's an even better variety of pickles there. RTI might have it as well, but even if they don't, you can pick up the bafenu there,

Vikram

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Apologies to make everyone run around, but this pickle needs to be where other pickle lovers may read about it!

I first had Hing ka achaar when my husband was still courting me. Used to sit and eat it out of the bottle with a spoon.

Heeng ka achaar is a really delicious Pahari achaar that tastes great from the day it is made. On the day it is mixed up to be put down the savoury spices and and fresh sour mangoes are a mouth puckering treat. When I make it a lot of the fresh stuff gets "tasted". The recipe is a simple one. Green Mangoes (usually the ones that fall off on windy days...) are peeled and shaved into thick flakes. (My mouth is waterring!) these flakes are then marinated and left to slowly mature in the sun over a few months in a spice mix of which a large part is Heeng. THe end result is meltingly soft bits of mango that can be eaten with just about anything. It is really delicious and I have never eaten it anywhere else. I do have an exact recipe, but I am saving it for my book. (Terribly sorry if that sounds mean but Suman if you are really interested pm me your snailmail address and I will endeavour to send you some if red tape allows...). There is also a pork pickle that I found a recipe for and one for teetar ka achaar.

My mom in law also makes a really delicious lime pickle which I have people beg me for. It is sour peppery and sweet. The other pickles she makes are Stuffed red chilli, Green chilli, Jackfruit, sweet almost caramelised mango (I think this is what you like Vikram), amla, two three different unripe mango pickles and some more I cant recall at the moment.

Episure, yes that was Gathadi, I am going to get a bottle of it soon along with the exact recipe. THanks for the Bamboo Shoot Pickle that I await with bated breath! For other pickle lovers this Gathadi or Bheendi pickle is very nice, I do not think it is available storebought however, one would likely have to knck on the door of a Sindhi friend.

I tried out the Papaya chutney, It is really quite interesting, salty sweet with a hot backnote... (Vikram am going to split that one with you.)

I bought the Gongura pickle today that I had been curious about for so long! I am going to try that with dinner tonight. I could not find the MTR one had to settle for Mothers recipe.

Rushina

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The Gongura Pickle I am happy to say is a great addition to my Pantry. I would however call it a chutney since there are no chunks of anything in it...

I served it with arhar-malka dal (toor and masoor), baigan (aubergine) ki sabji, rotis and dehra dun ka basmati. The daal was tempered wit copious amounts of heeng and a garhwali herb that is locally referred to as jumbu or faran. I wanted to take a picture of the daal but my husband wouldnt let me saying "may you make many more such daals to take pictures of....

To come back to the subject - the gongura lent a smoky spicy back drop to the daal and in retrospect, I think I would be quite happy with just the gongura pickle, a daal and rice.

That papaya pickle I have been talking about however seems to have become an addiction. It does not have any obvious papaya flavour but it is spicy sweet and I am finding all sorts of excuses to go to the kitchen to dip into the bottle!

Rushina

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For other pickle lovers this Gathadi or Bheendi pickle is very nice, I do not think it is available storebought however, one would likely have to knck on the door of a Sindhi friend.

Knock, Knock...

Sindhi friend Episure, are you listening?? :smile::wub:

Re: Gathadi aka Bheendi pickle.

This one is too traditional and is one of the few Indian pickles that exists in it's own domain.

However Rushina and some Bombay lurkers may want to ask for it at 'Ochi Pasari'

near Khar Station. The shop stocks a lot of exotic thingz that will catch the fancy of ingredient hunters.

Pasari is the old Indian word for grocer.

My mom doesnt know how to make it anymore so I will contract one old pickle lady(like the cake ladies) to make some before the mangos disappear.

Why this pickle is called Bheendi, I will never know. :hmmm:

I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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Apologies to make everyone run around, but this pickle needs to be where other pickle lovers may read about it!

I first had Hing ka achaar when my husband was still courting me. Used to sit and eat it out of the bottle with a spoon.

Heeng ka achaar is a really delicious Pahari achaar that tastes great from the day it is made. On the day it is mixed up to be put down the savoury spices and and fresh sour mangoes are a mouth puckering treat. When I make it a lot of the fresh stuff gets "tasted". The recipe is a simple one. Green Mangoes (usually the ones that fall off on windy days...) are peeled and shaved into thick flakes. (My mouth is waterring!) these flakes are then marinated and left to slowly mature in the sun over a few months in a spice mix of which a large part is Heeng.  THe end result is meltingly soft bits of mango that can be eaten with just about anything. It is really delicious and I have never eaten it anywhere else. I do have an exact recipe, but I am saving it for my book. (Terribly sorry if that sounds mean but Suman if you are really interested pm me your snailmail address and I will endeavour to send you some if red tape allows...).

Hi Rushina,

No you don't sound mean at all - I can totally understand. Thanks for your generous offer. I wasn't looking for a recipe anyway. Sun-dried mango pickle in Ireland? Ha! (sun? what sun? oh..that yellow disc in the sky? hmmm...seems vaguely familiar). I was just looking for a description. It sounds very similar to my grandma's 'puddi nonche' (powdered pickle), which contains sun-dried strips of raw mango in a mixture of ground mustard, hing and dried chillies. It's a dry pickle. It's been my favourite ever since I can remember and I've yet to change my mind about it.

Suman

Edited by rajsuman (log)
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  • 9 months later...

I've never done an Indian pickle tasting. I've only had them sporadically over the years. I don't even know which ones I've had. I'm known to try things without asking too many questions. For the past few months I've been going to a vegetarian Indian cafeteria of sorts. They have three levels of lunch/dinner specials. I always get the 'royale' or #3 for $5.99. It includes veg of the day, lentils, raita, basmati rice, chapati or puri, veg samosa, pickles, chopped salad with onions, Mango Lassi and a dessert (I have no idea what it is. I can identify coconut milk, sugar and some nuts. There is also this light, doughy thing shaped like a flattened ball).

Back to the pickles. My experience with Indian pickles is that they are very, very salty. (I'm Korean by the way, so I know salty and pickles). I'm intrigued by the flavors but I'm looking for less salty pickles. What should I look for? Names, brands, varieties...

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    • By Deeps
      This is one of my daughter favorite dishes, being mild and less spicy she loves this rice dish.  Its super easy to make and goes well with most Indian curries.
      Do try this out and I am sure you will be happy with the results.
       

       
      Prep Time : 5 mins
      Cook Time: 5 mins
      Serves: 2
       
      Ingredients:
      1 cup rice(basmati), cooked
      1/2 cup coconut, shredded or grated
      1 green chili, slit
      1 dried red chili
      1 1/2 tablespoon oil/ghee(clarified butter)
      1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
      1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
      1/2 tablespoon chana dal(split chickpeas)
      1/2 tablespoon urad dal(split black gram)
      1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
      A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
      Few curry leaves
      Salt to taste
       
      Directions
      1) Heat oil/ghee(clarified butter) in a pan in medium flame. I used coconut oil here because it tastes best for this dish.
      2) Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal(split chickpeas), urad dal(split black gram), green chili, dried red chili, ginger and curry leaves. Fry this for 30 seconds in medium flame. The trick is to ensure that these are fried but not burned.
      3) Add a pinch of hing(asafoetida) and mix well.
      4) Now add the cooked rice and coconut. Stir well for about 15 to 20 seconds and switch off the flame.
      5) Finally add salt into this and mix well. You could add peanuts or cashew nuts if you prefer. Goes well with most curries.
    • By JohnT
      For those folk who have access to a fig tree or two, here is a recipe for Green Fig Preserve inherited from my fathers recipes. The resulting product is magic on buttered toast and with cheese. The figs must be picked before they ripen and soften.
      Whole Green Fig Preserve
      Ingredients:
      100 green figs
      2 tablespoons bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
      3.4 litres water
      Method:
      Scrub the figs and cut a cross into the end opposite the stalk.
      Mix the water and bicarbonate of soda and soak the figs overnight.
      Remove from the water and weigh the figs, recording the weight.
      Place into clean boiling water and boil for 15 minutes or until just soft.
      Drain and then dry the figs well, removing excess water.
      Syrup:
      For each 500g figs or part thereof, mix 500ml water with 500g sugar.
      Boil the syrup until it just starts to thicken.
      Add the figs and boil until the syrup is thick.
      Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice for each 250g figs and just bring to the boil again before removing from the heat and letting cool.
      Bottle the figs and cover with the syrup.
      Note 1: If the syrup froths whilst boiling, add a small lump of butter.
      Note 2: A small stick of ginger can be added during the boiling process to add a slightly different flavour.
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