Chicken Biriyani. Every time Amma comes to visit, I make sure she makes me a huge batch. I even jotted down the recipe this time, in case my supplies finish before her next visit ;)
Lemons - 5 lb or 14 large
Salt - 4 tbsp
Sugar - 1 cup
Raisins - 1 cup
White Vinegar - 1/4 cup
Oil - 3/4 cup
(preferably sesame seed oil, known as gingelly oil)
Red Chilli, whole (deseeded) - 1/2 cup
Garlic (cloves cut in half) - 1/2 cup
Ginger juliennes - 1/4 cup
Musturd seeds - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds (methi) - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1/2 cup
Musturd seeds - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds (methi) - 1/4 tsp
Garlic - 3 cloves
Ginger juliennes - 1 tsp
Steam the lemons in a vessel until soft. Note that the skin should not break. Wipe the water off each lemon and let them cool well for a few hours. Its important for the lemons to cool, or else the steam inside the lemon will add water to the juice - water being a big no-no for any pickle. Cut each lemon into 8 pieces and put in a large vessel. Add the salt and the sugar to the lemons and mix well. Keep this mixture for 2 days in the vessel. Make sure there is no moisture in it.
Soak the ingredients for the paste in vinegar. Grind to a smooth paste. Heat oil in a kadhai. Fry red chilli skins, garlic and ginger each seperately and keep aside. Add musturd and fenugreek seeds, let it splutter. Remove kadhai from fire and add the ground masala paste. Cook on a slow fire until the raw smell goes away. Add raisins and let them plump. Add the pre-fried red chilli, ginger and garlic. Switch off and add sugar and salt to this masala mixture. Taste for salt and add accordingly. When cool, add this masala to the lemons and mix well.
Transfer to a dry, airtight bharani or glass jar. Best if used after one month, when the ingredients have blended well with the masala and the lemon is soft.
Note: If no oil floats on top, heat some oil. Let it cool and add on top of the pickle.