January 31, 2008

Madras Onion (Shallot) Pickle

I love pickles. The Indian kind and preferably home-made. Yes, I know they are not good for us - too much oil, spice, salt and therefore sodium, etc. Most Indians would however agree with me, I’m sure, that there’s nothing quite like pickles with parathas or curd rice (rice and yogurt). In India, the variety of pickles available is unbelievable as we make pickles out of just about every vegetable and some fruits, too. The most common pickles are those made of mangoes and lemons.
Palakkad Iyers make their pickles with sesame seed oil and do not use vinegar. The oil and salt ensure the pickles keep. This is not a traditional pickle (traditionally we do not eat onions) but is one of my favourites.

½ kg Madras onions (shallots)
¼ cup sesame seed oil
a small marble sized ball of tamarind/ 1 tsp tamarind paste
1 ½ tsp mustard seeds
2 sprigs curry leaves
4 tsps kashmiri chilli powder
¼ tsp asafetida powder
¼ tsp fenugreek powder (roast fenugreek seeds and powder)
2 tsps jaggery powder
salt to taste

Clean the onions. Take a quarter portion of the onions and crush well in the blender. Soak the tamarind in about half a cup of warm water. Don’t bother to do this if using the paste.
Pour the oil into a wok and add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the onions, crushed onion paste, the curry leaves and a little salt (not all the salt, only as much as required to salt the onions). Stir, on medium heat, and allow the onions and paste to cook for about 10 – 15 minutes.
Add the chilli, asafetida, fenugreek, and jaggery powders and required amount of salt. Mix well. Add the tamarind liquid next. If using tamarind paste, also add a little less than half a cup of water. Allow to cook, on medium to high heat, stirring frequently till the water evaporates and oil floats up along the sides of the wok.
The pickle is ready. Cool and bottle. Refrigerate.
Serve as an accompaniment to any of these - thayir chadam (yogurt rice), pulav, dosa, adai, chapathi,parathas and even bread.
If you would like this pickle to be a little sweeter, add an extra tablespoon or so of powdered jaggery. The sweeter version is especially nice with pulavs, fried rice, biriyanis or parathas.

This is my entry for February's JFI: Onion being hosted at Radhi's Kitchen


Jayashree said...

Looks good Aparna...I've never tried pickling onions...but u make it sound worth it.

jayasree said...

onion pickle - hearing for the first time. Reminds me of vengaya vethakuzhambu.

Asha said...

I have a store bought bottled one and we love it so much.Now I can make it at home. Thanks sweetie!:)

Happy cook said...

Yumm the pickles looks so good.

TBC said...

That is a nice entry for the event.I'v never made a pickle my entire life! It's about time I tried.

DK said...

this is so simple! I am so making it!

Sia said...

how pretty they look!

Mona said...

Hi, My first time to your blog.. You have a very good blog, with a collection of some delicious recipes. Never heard of a shallot pickle till now, my hubby's a shallot/onion fan and i will prepare this for him sometime, thnx for sharing..


remya said...

yumm-O!!!! love the pickle...looks delish

Rosie said...

Oh these pickles just look SO good!!

Rosie x

Aparna said...

Nice to know there's going to be alot of onion pickling going on. A bottle of the Priya brand of Onion Pickle was the inspiration behind this recipe!

Anonymous said...

hi thanks for giving this....

Anonymous said...

Seems like vathalkombu to me:)