Indian style chili pickle

by Heguiberto on July 23, 2010

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Indian style chili pickle with mustard oil

Indian style chili pickle

1lb mixed chili peppers (different stages of ripeness is fine)
½ inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tsp whole black mustard seeds, roughly ground in a mortar
Juice of 4 limes
1 tbsp wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp cumin seeds partially ground
¼ tsp coriander seeds partially ground
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp kosher salt (or other non-iodized salt. Sea salt works, but use less because it’s saltier)
~2 tbsp mustard oil
1 clove of garlic minced

Wash peppers. Slice in halves then discard seeds and ribs and stems. Lay them on a paper towel and let dry in the sun for a couple of hours.

Mix ginger, turmeric, mustard seeds, lime juice, vinegar, cumin and coriander seeds, sugar, and garlic. Add chili peppers and toss to coat. Pack chilies tightly in glass jar. Top with mustard oil. Leave it at room temperature for four days. Taste it. It should have a mellow flavor with a bit of a kick but none of the rawness of garlic, ginger or pepper. If the flavor is harsh, leave it out for another day or so. Transfer to the fridge and serve as a side for rice and beans or for any other Indian, Middle Eastern, or Morrocan dishes.

It’s the mustard oil that really makes this preserved pepper dish taste “Indian.” You can find mustard oil in Indian grocery stores. It is labeled for external use only as it is not approved by the USDA for consumption because a compound present in the oil, erucid acid, which supposedly may cause cardiac lesions based on tests made with animals. But Indian people eat it all the time and seem very healthy as a people, so I don’t know. But you are warned.

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