Red, green, orange, yellow, purple, pink.. winter is the time when the kitchen bursts with colours. There is so much of fresh produce available for a short period of time, especially in the arid parts of Gujarat that it is a difficult choice to make everyday. Most of the times we make a mix shaak meaning an all in one vegetable. Shaak in Gujarati means vegetable and is also the term used for the cooked vegetable preparation that goes with our flat breads. The regular meal is accompanied by a lot of pickles and sambhara and yogurt. During winters even the pickle scene is bursting to its seams. These pickles are not the ones we would preserve for a long time. They are made in smaller quantities to be consumed in few days. We also have bottles full of haldar + amba haldar (fresh turmeric and white turmeric) marinated in salt and lemon juice and Amla soaking in brine. The family members are encouraged to eat as much of these as possible. It is like stocking up your immunity boosters for the rest of the year!!
One such omni present pickle is the Marcha nu Athanu. The mildly hot green and red peppers are either marinated in salt+turmeric+lemon juice or mixed into split mustard and split methi seeds. The pickles ar enjoyed with a variety of flat-breads or thepla we roll out during the season.
The recipes shared with you today is how our family pickles the Red and Green peppers, as it is with such traditional recipes each household and family has its own distinct way of making such pickles, each adapted to suit the palate of the family.
Carrot and Green Pepper Pickle
- 1.5 cups green peppers
- 2 lemon, cut in tot wedges
- 1 cup carrots, cut into one inch strips
- 1/2 cup rai na kuriya/mustart seeds split
- 1 tablespoon sauf/fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon haldi/turmeric powder
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- salt to taste
- Wash, clean and give vertical slit the peppers.
- In a thali or a flat pan mix all the ingredients, except the veggies.
- Using your palm, beat the mix for 3-4 minutes. This helps the mustard seeds release its pungency.
- Once the mix is beaten well, fill it in the slit peppers.
- The carrots need to be rubbed in the mix, so that they are well coated.
- Mix the peppers, carrots and lemon wedges.
- Transfer the Carrot and Green Pepper pickle in a clean and dry jar.
Red Pepper Pickle
- 7-8 whole red peppers
- 1/2 cup methi na kuriya/split fenugreek seeds
- 3 tablespoons chana na kuria/ split coriander seeds
- 3 tablespoons rai na kuria/ split mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon sauf/ fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons jaggery
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, grated or powdered
- 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
- 4 tablespoons oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt to taste
- Wash, clean and slit or cut the red peppers in 1 inch cubes.
- Place a heavy bottom pan on medium flame.
- Add oil and once it has heated up add the split fenugreek seeds, sp
- lit coriander seeds, split mustard seeds and asafetida.
- Roast them for couple of minutes, until they start emitting pleasant aroma.
- Turn of the flame. Add salt, fennel seeds, jaggery and turmeric powder.
- Add the cubed peppers. Alternatively you may also fill them with this mixture. The peppers are too big hence, we prefer them cut in big chunks.
- Once the mixture has cooled down add the lemon juice and mix well.
- Transfer in a clean and dry glass jar.