THEME: #162 LEMON AFFAIR
RECIPE: LEMON CHUTNEY
Lemon Chutney is a versatile, easy to make, flavourful, spicy Indian style chutney. What I like about this recipe is that if you add enough oil, it stays fresh in the fridge for months. It is actually a much quicker version of the Gujarati lemon pickle or limbu nu athanu. You will always find a jar or lemon chutney in my fridge as it is my favourite.
Not only that, it is a versatile chutney. Enjoy it with:
- leftover roti
- as a spread for sandwiches
- in wraps
- bajri na dhebra
- plain rice
- with main meal
- bajra na rotla
The popular saying goes “When Life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Well this does not mean that in the literal sense. It is believed that the phrase was coined by the writer Elbert Hubbard in 1915. The reference to the lemon is in regard to its sourness or difficulty in life and basically indicates to overcome it and get on with life, to have a hopeful and optimistic outlook towards life.
When Sasmita who blogs at First Timer Cook suggested LEMONS as our #162nd theme she didn’t want use to make lemonade. She wanted us to put on our thinking caps and make something different using lemons.She certainly put on a thinking cap as she came up with these beautiful, tempting Lemon Creme Brulee.
My Recipe For The Theme: Lemon Chutney
For me that’s not a problem at all as I love the fragrance of lemon and love drizzling it on almost anything from boiled potatoes to fried cassava and salads. Lemons are the only things that make me salivate.. no truly, whenever I squeeze a lemon, ‘muh main pani aajata hai'(my mouth waters).
As you know recently I’ve been making oodles of Indian Flat breads, actually 26 different types for the Mega Blogging Marathon. I was quickly running out of pickles and that’s when I thought of making a lemon chutney.
This lemon chutney is my eldest foi’s (bua) recipe. Well she doesn’t have any fixed amounts of ingredients that she would use and now at 90 when I ask her for measurements, she just gets confused. So I just had to remember both the method she had narrated to me and the taste. From there, then work on it accordingly. This group theme finally got me to make this aromatic, tangy and sweet chutney and believe it or not my hands were smelling so good the whole day with lemon.
Hubby was going to see a patient at the hospital and I asked him to stop at the green grocers on his way back to buy lemons. And his question to me “We’re leaving in a few days time, why do you need lemon, aren’t you suppose to clear what’s in the fridge?” I just insisted that I wanted lemons and not any lemons.
I wanted those big fragrant rather sweetish lemons with a thicker rind and not the more sour and thin skinned Indian lemon. He just rolled his eyes and left. I crossed my fingers, hoping that he would buy them or else I’d have to go to the green grocers. He did come home with the lemons and I was like a little girl getting an ice cream as a treat.
Which Lemons To Use?
I prefer using the Lisbon or Eureka Lemons as they tend to be more fragrant and less acidic. However, when those are not available or are too expensive then I stick to the Indian Lemon (also known as Nepali or round lemon). If using the Lisbon or Eureka ones you need only 2 as they are fairly large. On the other hand, you will need about 4-5 of the Indian Lemons as they are small.
History Of Lemon
The origin of lemon is unknown but it is believed that they originate from the north eastern part of India particularly Assam, Northern Myanmar or China. Studies indicate that lemon was a hybrid between citron and bitter orange. Lemons entered Europe via Italy in the second century AD but were not widely cultivated. Around 700 AD they were introduced to Persia, Egypt and Iraq. It was around the 15th Century that substantial cultivation of lemons took place in Genoa. Lemons were introduced to the Americas by Christopher Columbus in 1493. He brought the lemon seeds during his travel to Hispaniola.
SOME LEMON RECIPES YOU MAY LIKE:
INGREDIENTS REQUIRED FOR LEMON CHUTNEY
- Lemons – if you use Lisbon or Eureka Lemons then you need only 2 medium to large ones. If you use the Indian Lemon variety then you will need 4-5. Wash the lemons properly as they will be cooked with the skin.
- Water – to cook the lemons in.
- Sugar – can use white sugar or brown. Can also use jaggery. If you use jaggery or brown sugar the colour of the chutney will be much more on the brownish side. The amount of sugar or jaggery you need will depend on how sour the lemons are. Lisbon or Eureka require less sugar and the Indian Lemons need more.
- Turmeric Powder – haldi, hardar.
- Red Chilli Powder – I use a combination of Kashmiri Red Chilli powder for the colour and the hot red chilli powder for the taste.
- Coriander Powder – dhania powder.
- Fennel Powder – valiyari, saunf powder.
- Salt – normal iodized/table salt.
- Oil – I prefer to use sunflower oil. You can use any oil of your choice. I always add a bit more as then I can drizzle the spicy oil over khichdi, dhokra, muthiya, khichu.
- 2 large lemons or 5 small Indian Lemons
- ¼ - ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
- 1 tbsp red chilli powder hot
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp fennel seed powder
- ½ - ¾ tsp salt
- ¼ - ⅓ cup oil
- 2-3 cups water
- Wash the lemons properly. Put them in a saucepan with enough water.
- Cover the pan and put it on medium heat.
- Let the whole lemons simmer in the water till soft and done. This takes about 10 -15 minutes.
- Remove the lemons from the water and let them cool down a bit. Don't throw away the water. Read the tip below on how to use this aromatic water.
- Cut the lemon into wedges and remove the seeds. Cut off the thick white pith at the top. Sometimes it is easier to snip off the white pith with a pair of scissors.
- Put the chopped lemon along with the sugar in a food processor and process to a coarse paste.
- Heat oil on a pan over low heat. Make sure the oil is not too hot. It will burn the spices.
- Add red chilli powders and turmeric powder.
- Immediately add the pureed lemon.
- Mix well. Take the pan off the heat.
- Add salt, coriander and fennel powders.
- Mix well.
- Serve the chutney with parathas, dosa, cheela, as a sandwich spread or with any snack.
- Store the chutney in an airtight jar and in the fridge.
- I put the water in which the lemons were boiled into a spray bottle and sprayed the house with it. Had the lemon scent at least for a couple of hours.
- Add hot chilli powder according to your taste.
- Roast coriander and fennel seeds before you powder it.
- Store leftover chutney in the fridge in an airtight container.
- Add more hot oil to the chutney so that it lasts longer. Drizzle the spicy oil over dhokla, khichu, muthiya, etc.
PIN FOR LATER:
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