Nimbuvo Puddigallelo

               Nimbuvo Pudigallelo is & used to be my favourite pickle . Pudi galleles or dry pickles keep well for upto an year provided you take a few precautions . All utensils handled during preparation should have been sun dried & care should be taken to handle them with dry hands .Store in a dry cool , dark place . When removing pickles , always transfer a small amount needed for 4-5 days rather than remove daily . Also remember to always use a dry spoon . My pickles have lasted more than an year & taste most awesome as they age .
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I have already given the recipe for Avallo pudigallelein. the lemon recipe is a bit different as it does not involve sun -drying but frying the lemons  to devoid them of moisture
So the first ingredient needed for this is of course nimbuvoos . – Choose blemish less ripe & fresh lemons.Wash them well . with a dry cloth wipe well

Now in a thick bottomed  pan add  1 tbsp of oil (use preferably Gingelly oil as it contains preservative properties & add to the flavour of your pickle ) & on a slow fire let them fry . you can add more oil but I feel that it is not necessary .I have used them as whole . this is the traditional way !

Keep stirring them from time to time Because the lemons while frying tend to burst squirting the juice , A high walled vessel will save you from the squirting juice.

After some patient stirring you can see that the lemons have turned brown & shriveled of their juices . at this stage remove them into another bowl . Let cool for a day.The black spots that you see is the residue of the lemon juice .
You may also quarter the lemons and  follow the same method . I found this to be less time consuming & no fear of the juices squirting !
After some time the juices would have evaporated .
Continue cooking until the moisture has fully gone and the oil separates . transfer to a clean sun dried vessel . Take care that the whole process is done on a slow flame !
Now for the  Sassama Pitoo / pickle  Masala  which is the most important preservative we are adding to the pickle
Ingredients for the basic masala  or Sassama Pitto;-
  • Red chilies – 20 – 25 as per taste
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Methi seeds  – 3/4 tbsp
Note ; –The above amount is for half a kg of any variety to be pickled . Usually this can be prepared in larger quantities & used whenever needed . this acts as a preservative & gives added flavor  to the pickle

Method :-
  • Roast red chilies , mustard & methi separately .
  • Grind in a sun – dried mixer jar to a fine powder .
  • Store in a dry glass bottle .
  • Usually I powder & store roasted mustard & methi only & then add roasted red chilli powder whenever I am making pickles .
            So while the lemons are resting You can prepare the sassma pitto
              Next day cut the whole lemons into fours. If you had fried cut lemons , then proceed to the next step
Now add about 2 tbsp of salt , 1 tsp of hing & the sassma pitto (this is for 1/2 kg of lemons ) 
           I have used 1 kg of lemons here so double that quantity of ingredients . As I have said before the sassma pitto here has only mustard & methi .  I separately roasted the red chillies & powdered them , Since we like it a little spicy , I had added more chillies than specified here .Some like to add a tsp of haldi too as its a preservative too.
Mix the powders thoroughly . Then add the cut lemon pieces & mix again thoroughly so that each & every piece is coated well with the masala .
Note:-

Another version is to just cut the lemons into halves & stuff the masala into each half .
Your pickle is now ready to be bottled .Choose sun dried glass bottles or chinaware jars ( bharinis ) to store your pickles . pack them tightly in the bottle . Now heat about 1/2 cup of Gingelly oil in a kadai up to smoking point . switch off after a minute , Let the oil cool down completely . then pour it into the bottle & seal tightly . the oil will slowly seep down .

       Store in a cool dark dry place
     Let it remain for at least a week .You can start using after a week . but taste develops more the longer its kept – as they ” melsunnu assata “!
This  goes well with rice and also chapatis .
Note;
If you want it gravy type –  to have with idli & dosas , take a small amount of the pickle in a bowl , add a little water & chopped green chilies

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