Meyer Lemon Pickle With Indian 5-spices
- 13 organic meyer lemons
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
- scant 1/2 cup sea salt (not coarse ground)
- scant 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cayenne powder (or ground chile of choice)
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida powder* (optional)
- Wipe the lemons with a dry cloth. Slice 12 of them in quarters lengthwise. Slice each quarter through it’s width into three pieces. Taking out the seeds as you go, be sure to catch any wayward juice. Gather cut lemons and juice in a large bowl.
- In a dry skillet toast the 5 whole spices. Keep the heat on medium and give the pan a shake now and again. As soon as you smell a delicious aroma and see the fenugreek turn barely a shade darker pour them into a plate to cool. If you are using the asafoetida powder toss it in 30 seconds before you take the spices off the heat.
- Once the spices are cool grind them in a spice grinder or with a mortar & pestle (how to use mortar & pestle). Add them to the lemons along with the salt, sugar, chile and turmeric. Stir until all is well combined.
- Scoop into an immaculately dry one half gallon (or two quarts) glass jar with a tight fitting lid. I stress that the inside of said jar must be dry because even a little bit of water could lead to spoiled lemons. Add the juice of the final lemon to the jar.
Tips for Canning Meyer Lemon Pickle with Spices
- Place the jar in a sunny windowsill if you, like me, are in the throes of winter. If you have a few days where the sun is shy, do put the jar in a warm place, like the top of a fridge or on the floor about a foot away from a radiator. If you happen to be in a warm climate, you can put your jar outside during the day, making sure to bring it in at night. Give the jar a shake once a day, or better yet keep it right side up one day, and upside down the next. I’ve learned from experience that this is best done with a plastic screw-capped jar as a wire bail or weck jar – even with a tightly fitted rubber ring – will leak.
- Every few days open the cap, carefully, as there will be a lot of fermentation going on inside and it will sizzle a bit into the air upon opening. As the days go on, the aroma becomes even more mouth watering. Because meyers are quite thin-skinned, your pickle should be done in about 3 weeks. You can start to taste around that time and see if the texture is to your liking. Don’t let it get too soft! You want some firmness to remain between the teeth.
Place your finished pickle in the fridge to drastically slow down fermentation and it will easily last a year or more. A little goes a very long way. I like to decant mine into smaller jars to store in the fridge. Oh, and do remember to dip a clean and very dry spoon in each time you serve your precious pickle. Enjoy!