April's contest winner for best pickle recipe is Venoo Chopra. She writes: "This pickle is our family favourite. Plump fresh red chillies add a touch of glamour in the sabzi mandi. And the pickle is a kind of hot-sweet; a taste difficult to define. It makes a great accompaniment to paranthas, and dal-chawal, and keeps well refrigerated, for a couple of months."
Venoo's Red Chilli Pickle Recipe
(Makes 10 x 250g bottles of pickle)
5kg red chillies
1 cup jaggery, pounded into small pieces
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup til oil
Wash and pat the chillies dry. Slit open and de-seed, then coarsely crush in a mixer.
Peel and crush the garlic in a mixer.
In a pan, heat the vinegar and jaggery, just until the jaggery dissolves. Do not let it come to a boil. Set aside.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, on medium heat. Add the crushed garlic, sauté; do not let it brown.
Add in the chillies, and cook over a low flame. (This takes time - the water from the chillies evaporate and you will be left with a very small quantity in the pan. But keep cooking until oil separates.
Now, pour in the vinegar-jaggery mixture. Add salt, and cook over low heat for another 20 minutes or so, stirring in between, to ensure the mixture doesn’t burn.
Set aside to cool.
Once cool, it is ready to bottle.
[Be careful while handling the chillies, and remember to wash your hands when you are done!]
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