Monday 2 February 2015

Pickled Lemons

 Pickled Lemons

Pickling Lemons is a time age process that many cultures embrace as their own. While Parsi Food does not include it in its cooking itself, it is a favourite as an accompaniment. Its trick to success is choosing the fresh young lemon with no blemishes and a thin skin. This ensures it is soft and supple, and avoids any bitterness. 
They are called limbu/limoo in Hindi and Urdu.The Persians tend to pickle their limu whole and use it crushed in their cooking. While the Moroccans Cuisine use pieces of pickled lemons in their Tagine. The Arabic word being Laymoon. 

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

The smallest round thin skinned lemons are best for pickling. 

Makes approximately 1 kg /2.2 lb  

1 kg fresh small lemons
4 tsp sea salt
2 sterilised 500 gm/ 1 lb jars

Wash, pat dry and cut the lemons in equal size. Add a tsp of the salt in each jar. Drop in the cut pieces of lemon filling the jar to the top. Add another tsp of sea salt in each jar. Screw the lid on tightly. Giving it a shake daily leave to mature in the sun on the kitchen sill. It will take 4 to 7 days to ''cook''. Do not open the bottle during the maturing process. 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 for up to 1 year when refrigerated.

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


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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