Homemade pickles are totally free from preservatives and chemicals,which cannot be avoided in pickles bought from the markets.A little planning,however busy we may be, to spare some time to prepare the pickles at home gives us the satisfaction of using our own product with less oil and spices ,minus the various chemicals used for preserving.The pickles can be made according to the items available in the season at a cheap price.The traditional lime pickle,Narthangai pickle, vadu mangai,avakkai etc. can be stored for a longer time with salt ,oil,mustard,chilli powder and oil as natural preservatives.
Now I made this garlic pickle as the price has come down from Rs. 150 to Rs.80 per Kg.The small ones are sold at Rs.40 per Kg.Garlic,also has a lot of medicinal properties,almost known to all.
Garlic : 250 grams or 2 cups of pods
Chilli powder : 3 tsp
Fenugreek powder : 1tsp.
Mustard :1/2 tsp.
Tamarind : 1 lemon size
Asafoetida : 1/2 tsp.
Salt : 2 tsp
Gingelly Oil : 4 tbsp.
Powdered Jaggery : 1 tbsp.
Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp.
1.Peal the garlic into pods.This can be the time consuming part of this pickle, to be done while watching the TV or listening to music.
2.Heat the oil in a thick bottomed tawa and add the mustard.
3.When they splutter,add the asafoetida and and the pods of garlic.Saute well, to avoid burning.
4.When the garlics are half cooked, add a thick extract of tamarind,salt,turmeric powder and chilli powder.Keep on stirring.
5.Add the fenugreek and jaggery.Mix well.
6.Once the garlics become soft and all the water is absorbed, switch off the flame.
1.The pickle can be refrigerated for a period of 3 weeks.For a longer life,vinegar and other chemical preservatives are to be added.They are totally avoided by me as I prepare the quantity, that can be consumed within 3 weeks.
2.Whenever tamarind is to be used,soak in hot water and take a thick extract.The left over tamarind can be used for sambar or rasam.
3.Fenugreek is one of the essential items for any pickle.So 50 gms. or a 1/4 cup of fenugreek can be roasted on a tawa without oil and powdered in a mixi.This roasted and powdered fenugreek comes handy for making any pickle.Also it is said to be a good fibre,recommended for people with diabetes,hypertension and for lactating mothers.
4.Salt,chilli powder and oil can be added more or less according to our own taste.