THEME: #162 LEMON AFFAIR
The popular saying goes “When Life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Well this does not mean that in the literal sense. It’s believed that the phrase was coined by a 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. For me that’s not a problem at all as I love lemon, 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). And my all time favorite pickle is a khatta meetha lemon pickle.
I’ve baked an eggless lemon and yogurt cake for Radhashtami which is today, but cannot blog it for now as it still has to be offered to Radha Krishna. As you know recently I’ve been making oodles of Indian Parathas 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 ‘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 the method she had narrated to me and the taste and 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. His question ‘ 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 had my fingers crossed 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.
With 2 lemons I made chutney and the other one I used to bake the cake. You’ve got make this chutney as its so different from the usual green chutneys we make. Served with parathas, chilas, dosas, or in between bread as a sandwich spread, this chutney tastes awesome.
Makes about 1 cup
2 large lemons (if using the small ones then you need to take 4-5 of them)
¼ – ⅓ cup sugar (use brown, normal or jaggery powder)
1-2 tbsp red chilli powder ( I used half Kashmiri chilli powder and half hot red chilli powder)
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tbsp coriander powder (dhana powder)
1 tsp fennel seed powder (saunf, valiyari powder)
½ tsp salt
¼ – ⅓ cup oil
- 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.
- Remove from the water and let the lemons 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 of the thick white pith at the top.
- 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.
- Add red chilli powder 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, chila, as a sandwich spread or with any snack.
- Store the chutney in a 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 chilli powder according to your taste.
- Roast coriander and fennel seeds before you powder it.
- Store leftover chutney in the fridge.
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You may want to check out my other recipes using lemon:
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