A few days ago, I was wondering why do I dislike making Indian pickles at home. Is it because of that time consuming process? Or is it too much effort like -- bulk chopping, drying in sun etc.? Or that endless waiting while it gets soaked in bottles for days? Or because there's no instant gratification and I have to wait patiently for days? Well, may be perhaps its not my style of cooking, which is usually quick fix meals -- Cut this, cut that, add a little bit of this and a little bit of that, a little fry or boil -- and out of the kitchen! I'm sure its not as easy as it sounds, but I think you know what I mean.
To avoid all the hassle of making pickles at home, I instead prefer visiting an Indian grocery store, pick-up my favorite pickle and satisfy my craving. I've nothing to do with those recipes that are time consuming or with a long list of ingredients, but I'm not cooking them if I can enjoy an equally delicious store-bought product. In fact, I'm not even a serious pickle fan, I can enjoy my meal without any pickle too, but it unquestionably does add a perk to my meal when I have it! While growing up, none of us were too fond of pickles and mom never made it at home too. But I did like it when I tasted it from my friends' lunch boxes during school/college days. Nowadays the store-bought pickles are as good as home-made ones, except my all time favorite ginger pickle. So far, I've not found anything in store thats comparable to my mother-in-law's home-made ginger pickle. So, I don't mind following her recipe and making ginger pickle at home, but only if my hubby comes forward to take the pain of grating that big bulk of ginger!
While browsing a magazine recently, this onion pickle caught my eye, as it looked super delicious in the picture, and appeared to be very simple to make. I surrender when an interesting recipe comes by like this one. May be its my ignorance, but I have never heard of onion pickle until now. Onions as such being such a staple ingredient in Indian cooking, I wonder how were they ignored for pickling! After glancing through the ingredients and instructions, I knew for sure this would come out good, and it didn't disappoint me! It was divine with Curd-rice, and yesterday I couldn't help having a second round of curd-rice with this tongue tickling pickle!
This will stay in fridge for a couple of months.
- Pearl Onions/Shallots/Sambar Vengayam - about 25 counts
- Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
- Jaggery - 1 tbsp (optional)
- Tamarind paste - 2 tbsp
- Chilli powder - 1.5 tsp
- Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
- Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
- Gingely oil - 1/2 cup (You can substitute with any vegetable oil)
- Peel off the skin from the onions, and chop them to 1 inch pieces. If they are smaller, you can leave them as such without chopping.
- Mix the tamarind paste with 2 cups of water.
- Dry roast the fenugreek seeds and a hot pan, make a fine powder and set aside.
- In the same pan, heat the oil, season with mustard seeds. Once they pop, add the onions and fry in high heat for 3-4 mins.
- Add turmeric, chilli powder and salt and fry for a few mins.
- Now add the tamarind juice, jaggery and increase the heat until it starts boiling.
- Lower the heat and cover for about 20 mins. Once the onions are cooked fully, add the fenugreek powder, increase the heat and keep stirring until it becomes a thick paste.
Enjoy with Idlis/Dosas/Rotis - tastes best with curd rice! Actually, I enjoyed this with plain rice too and it tasted awesome!