I was sipping delicious sweet water with a straw from a fresh tender coconut a little while ago while staring into the sunset from a window at my home. And the idea of a tropical beach holiday described in some book or television or somewhere on the Internet flashed into my head. This was the not first time i had coconut water straight from a tender green coconut, nor was this the first time i admired a sunset at home (having even tried to capture it with my camera several times, precariously balancing the camera outside the third floor window), but it was the first time it struck me as something romantic. That a lot of things in everyday life seem interesting only when they are described in beautiful words by a stranger. That our perspective of everyday events can determine our happiness, not the events themselves. And i am surprisingly happy today, maybe just happy to be surprised at what my mind can throw at me to ponder.
Hello everybody and seasons greetings to you all.
Its been a while since my last post, a friend and my mother have complained about it. And i have had my reasons (that include a little nephew and niece visiting from overseas), but i am not getting into the details here. What i did get into yesterday was a pickle, i mean literally not figuratively. I put together this cauliflower pickle, the only pickle i ever made, twice before and once successfully. Turned out to be the husband's favourite and so i finally made it again yesterday, with a fair bit of success i should say, seeing as i didn't follow instructions from anyone. Let me tell you how i did it.
1 medium cauliflower; 3 cups of florets approximately
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
3/4 cup red chili powder (i used 100 grams Everest Tikhalal, and the pickle was very hot)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste; 5-6 heaped tablespoons
1 cup vegetable oil
juice of 3-4 limes, adjust according to taste
1 pod of garlic cloves, skinned (optional)
Cut the cauliflower into small florets, wash thoroughly in lukewarm/cold water (to remove any hidden bugs) and dry them for a couple of hours on paper towels or cloth. When the florets are completely dry, transfer them to a large, dry bowl. Meanwhile dry roast the mustard, cumin and fenugreek seeds on low flame until slightly aromatic and allow to cool completely. Grind them to a fine powder. Add this powder and all the other ingredients to the cauliflower florets. Take care to remove any seeds when squeezing the lime juice in. Mix thoroughly until the florets are evenly coated with a wet spice mix. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and allow to rest for 1-2 days. The pickle will release juices and the oil will float to the top. Mix the pickle twice or thrice during this time. You can do a taste test the next day and adjust the levels of salt, chili and lime juice. Transfer to an airtight bottle and store in the refrigerator. The pickle usually lasts up to a month if you don't let in any moisture or wet spoons near it. The florets are crispy and tangy and the pickle is quite aromatic too. We had our first taste of this cauliflower pickle at lunch today and i am waiting for dinner now.
- The pickle may taste bitter (because of the fenugreek) immediately after mixing the pickle, but it mellows down in 24 hours. If you are worried, you can reduce the amount of fenugreek by half.
- You can add up to half a cup of extra oil. This will float to the top once the pickle is ready (as can be seen in the last pic) and can be used for frying dosas instead of regular oil. Do try the spicy oils for dosas if you haven't before.
- Skinned garlic pods are optional, but recommended. If the garlic pods are too fat, slice them in half so they can absorb the spices quicker.