There are days when you want a little tangy, spicy something to accompany your regular meals. On such days, you don’t have to reach for the store-bought, oil and preservative laden, overly salted pickle varieties that are commercially available. Make your own simple, delicious, quick and healthy pickle at home – your wallet and waist will thank you!
Ingredients (makes around 8oz of pickle):
- Carrots (I used 2 large ones)
- Chilies (optional) (I used 2 medium spicy ones)
- Sesame oil (3 tsp)
- Fenugreek (methi) seeds (1/2 tsp)
- Mustard (rai) seeds (1/2 tsp)
- Red chili powder (per taste) (I used 3/4 tsp)
- Asafetida (hing) powder (3 pinches)
- Turmeric (haldi) powder (1/2 tsp)
- Lemon juice (1.5 tbsp)
- Salt (to taste)
- Wash, peel and julienne the carrots and let them dry on a kitchen towel for a few minutes.
- Wash and chop the chilies, if you are using them, and let them dry along with the carrots.
- Dry roast the mustard and fenugreek seeds on medium heat, until the fenugreek seeds are slightly reddish and you get the aroma of the roasted spices.
- Pound these into a fine powder using a clean and dry mortar and pestle.
- Heat the sesame oil in a wide pan on medium to high heat.
- When the oil is warm, add all the dry spices and salt in. Saute for 30 seconds.
- Add the carrots and chilies and saute for another 10-15 seconds or so on high heat. You don’t want to overcook the carrots till they become mushy. They should retain their crunch.
- Switch off the flame and add the lemon juice.
- Mix well and store in a clean, dry, sterilized glass jar. This should stay well, under refrigeration for up to a week.
Sweet (carrot), sour (lemon), salty (salt), bitter (fenugreek), pungent (chilies, mustard), astringent (asafetida).
Any spicy pickle is pitta aggravating in excess. In moderation, this carrot pickle stimulates the digestion (deepana) and aids in the digestive process (pachana), while also opening the subtle body channels (srotas) and also improving circulation etc. Pittas should nonetheless be careful to not overindulge or overdo the chilies and spices. Kaphas will benefit greatly from a homemade pickle such as this, in moderation and in conjunction with their regular diet. Pickles are good for vatas, in moderation, and they too shouldn’t overdo the pungent spices, like pittas.
This is a rajasic recipe that is stimulating to the body and mind, in general. It is okay to consume this in moderation, especially by people who are feeling heavy, lethargic and tamasic, in particular.