Sunday, October 11, 2015

Highschooler's Jalapeno pickle

My oldest son decided to learn to cook. This was huge, momentous, sky falling on the head moment. While he is quite the consummate food critic, he and a spatula rarely come in contact with each other. He started with an eggplant and pea stir fry  and then he followed it up with this Jalapeno pickle. The husband claims that the recipe is lost to posterity because we made it up along the way. Just to prove him wrong..

1 half pint (8 ounces) Mason Jar
6 Jalapenos
1 tbsp of salt
1/4 tsp of turmeric
Lime juice from 3 limes + more if needed.
about 1/2 an inch of ginger peeled and cut into thin coins.
1.5 tsp paanch phoron

Prepping the jar
Wash the jar in hot soapy water and dry fully. Zapping in the microwave is a good way to do this.
Packing the jar
Then you take the jalapenos and quarter them slicing through the stalk. Lay the mason jar on the long side and pack the jalapenos in. Pack in the ginger in the gaps. Stand the jar upright and add the salt and the turmeric.
Squeeze the limes into a bowl and add the juice to the mason jar. You want to make sure the jalapenos are submerged in the juice. Add more lime juice as needed. Screw the cap on and give the jar a good shake to distribute the salt and turmeric.
Loosen the lid a wee bit and leave the jar on the counter for 2 days. Make sure to shake the jar at least twice a day. On day 3, using a clean dry spoon taste the juices. Add more salt if you need to (we didn't) but the high schooler decided there was not enough ginger and proceeded to add more.
Leave on counter for 2 more days; shaking the jar twice a day. On day 5 taste a small piece of the jalapeno. It should have absorbed the salt and the ginger, have a little give but still retain a crunch.
Final stage - adding the spices
Now it is time to add the spices. Take about 1.5 teaspoon of paanch phoron ( the packet you get from the Indian store). it is a mix of 5 spices: Kalonji(Nigella seeds), Jeera(Cumin), Saunf(Fennel), Methi Fenugreek)and  Safed Rai(White mustard). This is the composition of the typical pickling mix.The teaspoon  we took out seemed low on methi; so we added another 4 grains of methi.
Dry roast the spices in a skillet. You want to get these good and aromatic and the methi has to turn a nice brown. Transfer to a bowl. cool and then powder the spices.
Add the powdered spices to the jalapeno jar.. you know the routine; give it a good shake. Put in the fridge. It is ready to eat after 1 day.
It is soo sooo good. Here is to teenagers who cook.

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