I never got the idea of Moroccan Preserved Lemons, or other variations, where the instructions say to pack the lemon slices in salt, then when they are ready you have to take off the juicy lemony pulp part, throw that away, and rinse the salt off of the lemon peel and only use that. hmmmm.
This recipe, from Hungry Tigress, for an authentic Indian Lemon Pickle is what drove me to ordering the spectacular lemons from the Lemon Ladies in the first place. In preparation for this, and for Christmas, I needed to order spices from Mountain Rose Herbs.
My recipe varies a bit from Hungry Tigress, but I do suggest you read hers in the entirety, and she has a wonderful blog.
I begin with slicing the meyer lemons, about 16 of them, into small wedges, removing the seeds. I filled two quart mason jars about 2/3 full and added one tablespoon of salt to each jar. The spices had not arrived, and I did not want the quality of the lemons to decrease so by beginning this first step, they began to safely ferment in the salt.
The spices arrived and I first made the Indian 5 Spice mixture. Of course I can’t remember anything without taking pictures of each step, and I certainly cannot be trusted to write things down, as I would never be able to find it back again. So, these are the spices in this mixture:
Equal weights of cumin seed, fenugreek, fennel, nigella, and brown mustard seed.
It smells heavenly.
Mix it up and put in airtight jars.
The recipe calls for toasting the spice seeds in a pan until they become more fragrant and change color, then you grind them in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. I will do this on other occasions, but in this case I wanted to have the seeds whole, as I like that sometimes.
I also added two heaping tablespoons of chimayo chili powder I dehydrated this fall.
Since I left the seeds whole, they will swell and pick up moisture over time, and there was not enough for that in the jar (I transferred everything to a half gallon jar at this point.) I added two ladles full of kombucha and a bit of raw honey.
Leave in room temperature with the lid on (but not too tight) for at least a month, and then refrigerate. Keep turning and shaking the jar daily, to get everything mixed well, and only use a clean, dry spoon each time. Keeps getting better with time, and lasts for up to a year.
I also made a garam masala, which should be considered perfume.
Equal weights of: powdered sweet cinnamon, clove, cumin, nutmeg, ginger, whole coriander seed and hulled cardamom for a bit of interest.
Mix well and store in airtight glass jars.
I will be using these spices a lot this winter and will try and post recipes of what I come up with. A friend is hosting an Indian food tribe party in a few days and I have been practicing on an Indian layered flatbread with garam masala and fresh cilantro. More experimentation is needed, and I will probably be too fat to make it to the party. 😉
Spoiler alert: Obviously I made a lot of these spices, for Christmas presents. 🙂 Many of you are on the list, but for those afar off, who would like to have some as well, I would love to share with you.
Email me your address and I will see how many I can send out.
Marry Christmas to you all and may your New Year be filled with spice and fragrant beauty.