Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chile Pickles With Fennel and Fenugreek

Amma always shared all good things she made with her neighbors and friends and they reciprocated. I cannot forget the delectable taste of stuffed red chile pickles that a neighbor brought over when I was visiting Amma. Succulent, ripe, red chiles redolent with fennel seeds and other spices, they were so good that we ate them up without giving them a chance to mature!

I have tried to recreate the taste here as best as I remember. Red or green chiles may be used to make the pickles; I use green chiles when red chiles are not in season yet. Green Serrano or Jalapeno or red Fresno or Jalapeno chiles work well. With a touch of tart from the lime juice and fragrant with fennel, the green chiles retain their crisp texture and are decidedly delicious. Paji heartily agrees with me when I say that this recipe is a keeper and one to add to our chile repertoire :D.


12 red or green chiles (Jalapeno or Serrano)
1 Tbsp Fennel Seeds
2 Tsp Fenugreek Seeds
2 Tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
1 pinch Asafetida
1/4 tsp ground Turmeric
1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Oil
1 Lime, juiced


Combine the seeds and crush them in a spice grinder (or use mortar and pestle) so that most of the seeds are coarsely ground.

Cut off the stem ends of the chiles; remove seeds if you like a milder pickle. You can leave the chiles whole or cut each into 4 to 6 strips lengthwise.

Mix the crushed spices with the salt, asafetida, and turmeric.

Stuff the chiles with some of the spice and salt mixture or toss with the strips.

Place the chiles in a sterile jar.

Pour the oil and lime juice on top and shake to mix well.

Cover with an airtight lid and let cure for a few days. Shake daily to mix well.

Chile pickles should be mature and ready to eat in a week. Store in the refrigerator and use as desired.

Chile pickles are great served with rice, roti, and simple dals and veggies. Enjoy!!

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