Indian pickles are an essential part of any traditional meal. They are unique in that they are pickled in oil instead of vinegar. They come in a wide variety of flavors and combinations and their tastes range from fiery hot to sweet and sour and everything possible in between. The possibilities are endless.
I absolutely love Indian pickles; they are a wonderful combination of various flavors such as sweet, sour, tangy and spicy all in one bite. My Indian Green Apple Pickle is probably one of my most requested recipes. Granny Smith is a delicious variety of green apple that is both tart & sweet, making it just perfect for pickling. If you do not have Granny Smith apples available in your area, use any similar variety of apples. Honeycrisp apples are also great for pickling but are seasonal, Granny Smiths are easily available all year round. This delicious pickle also tastes great in sandwiches, wraps & even on pizza!
I also suggest using pickling salt (instead of standard table salt or kosher salt) as it helps to extend the shelf life of the pickle. When making homemade pickles, always remember to use a sterilized cutting board, knife and glass jars. Also, never introduce water of any kind during the pickling process as that will result in quickly spoiling your finished product.
For a quick and easy homemade Indian pickle, you can always use a store bought pickle masala which is readily available at any Indian grocery store. Always remember that home made pickles have a much shorter shelf life than readymade store bought pickles; they should be refrigerated and eaten quickly.
Do not be intimidated by the thought of making Indian pickles. They are easy to make and very delicious. I encourage you try making them; you will be well rewarded.
GREEN APPLE PICKLE
Yield: 2 medium glass jars
6 large Granny Smith apples (green sweet/tart variety)
˝ cup pickling salt
2 tbsp red chili powder (to taste)
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp mustard seeds
pinch of asafetida
˝ tsp fenugreek or methi seeds (coarsely ground, best method is by using a mortar/pestle)
juice of 1 lime (or lemon)
6 tbsp of oil (vegetable or canola), more if needed
Wash the apples and dry thoroughly, any hint of water or moisture will quickly spoil your pickle. Using a clean and sanitized cutting board and knife, cut the apples into bite size pieces and set aside until needed.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the salt with the red chili powder, turmeric and lime juice. Next, add the apple pieces and coat thoroughly. Cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes to allow all of the flavors to mingle properly.
In a seasoned wok on medium high, heat the oil and carefully add the mustard seeds. Be careful as the mustard seeds have the tendency to splatter and pop. Once the mustard seeds have stopped “popping”, reduce the heat to low and add the fenugreek seeds & asafetida. Stir and remove the wok from the heat. Set aside to cool until needed.
When thoroughly cooled, add the seasoned oil mixture to the marinated apple pieces. Mix well to combine and store in sterilized glass jars. The pickle will be ready in a week. Refrigerate and enjoy as a tasty accompaniment with any Indian meal.
Try adding some small green Thai chilies (sliced lengthwise). You can also use this method to make a wonderfully delicious green mango pickle.