Monday, 2 February 2015

Pickled Lemons

 Pickled Lemons
Fresh small round lemons make the best pickle, check for the thinnest skin possible.




The smallest round thin skinned lemons are best for pickling. 



Pickling lemons is relatively simple. Pick the  juiciest lemons with the smoothest, thinnest skin. Wash, pat dry and cut in equal size cubes. Sterilise a jar and start to drop in the cut pieces of lemon. Fill the jar to the top. Add 2 tsp of sea salt. Screw the lid on tightly.Give it a shake. And leave to mature in the sun. It will take 4 to 7 days to ''cook''. Do not open the bottle all along. Simply give it a shake each day. The liquid will magically appear. The salt crystals will disappear and you will be left with a ready to use pickled lemon!  This can last refrigerated for up to 1 year.






Indian Cuisine  uses them to squeeze lemon juice for added flavour over cooked food. They are called limbu/limoo in Hindi and Urdu.


The Persian Cuisine uses pieces of  fresh lemon and pickled lemon crushed in their ingredients. Persians tend to pickle small round lemons and keep them whole; they are referred to as limu.


Moroccan Cuisine tends to use pieces of pickled lemons in their Tagines/Tajines. In Arabic they are called Laymoon. 


It is very popular to have "limu pani" ( lemon water)or freshly squeezed lemon juice mixed with sugar and cold water  as a refreshing drink during the hot summer months in India, Iran and the region. Some like to add fresh leaves of mint while others will add some salt to this drink.


Health practitioners are recommending a glass of warm water and freshly squeezed lemon juice on waking up each morning; it has good detox qualities that are hard to match. If you have a cut in the kitchen, rubbing it with lemon will prevent it from getting infected; Be prepared for the slight sting of this natural antiseptic! 


As far as cleaning is concerned; Use the remains of your squeezed lemon to

1.Heat it in the micro for 30 seconds to refresh it of all smells
2. Crush it in your garbage disposal unit to keep it sanitized
3. Rub it on your nails and hands to remove all the cooking odours

Tips

Do not use a dirty or wet spoon while removing the pieces of pickle.
Discard it immediately if any fungus has grown over it.
Keep it tightly closed at all times.
Using organic lemons for pickling is well worth the extra as the skins are being eaten.
Lemons are versatile; Cooking and cleaning they are useful to have in your home at all times.
The smallest of lemons with a very thin skinned can be pickled whole as well. Simply pierce a fork in it prior to pickling.
Look for unblemished lemons.

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