"My children's school was cancelled today" he said
"Because of what? Some ice?" pause pause well you know his style.
"We're going to have to apply some flinty Chicago toughness to this town"
"I'm saying that when it comes to the weather, folks in Washington don't seem to be able to handle things"
He is the latest but not the last parent to join in the snow and school closing debate that is a constant every winter season here. The numerous letters to the editor clearly showed that my fellow Washingtonians did not take kindly the dissing from the prez. In effect the kids were off from school for 3 days (Monday being a planned day off) with a 2 hour delayed opening on Thursday. I have no arguments for having closed on Wednesday, the roads were icy, the side walks were slippery but closing school on Tuesday was a bit much, it was soft snow and the roads were clear till late in the evening when it started to sleet. No kid is complaining though, they look forward to some sledding and snow boarding with all the joy they muster for the unplanned holiday, it is a winter ritual they have come to expect and enjoy like we parents seem to take delight in second guessing the school authorities. Anyway I was glad to have them out of my hair and in school.
Garlic pickle was just the perfect recipe for the unplanned long holiday. I had a few extra hands to peel the garlic. We peeled for a little over half an hour before they got tired and bored. In that time we had managed to peel about 2 cups of garlic just enough for what I had in mind. The smaller the pods the better, using the pre peeled cloves that you get in the jars (they are huge cloves) are not a great idea for this pickle. Unusually the garlic that I bought recently had smaller cloves. I am a pickle addict running through a jar of pickle every 2 weeks, so making pickle does not need any extra incentives. I know binging on pickle does not do me any good but with home made I can at the least control the amount of salt, oil and chili powder that goes into the pickle.
I had a roughly written recipe from grandmom from a long while back and had to call up my mom to check with her mom and call me back with the exact cooking time and measurements. I made it once before without the exact measurements and I was a little unhappy with the results so did not want that to happen again. The time taken to make this pickle is half an hour tops so there is no reason not to try it out, if you like garlic that is.
chapti with garlic pickle, sookhi aloo gobi and Mandira's tencha
1. 2 Cups of peeled small sized garlic cloves (I had a mixture of small and maybe medium sized ones)
2. 1/3 Cup of lemon juice (I used 1/2 cup)
3. 1 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
4. 1 tsp mustard seeds
5. 1/4 tsp asfoetida
6. 10 dried long red chilies
7. 1/4 cup sesame oil
8. 1 1/2 tsp sugar
9. 1/2 tbsp salt (or as required)
1. Dry roast the fenugreek,mustard,asfoetida and red chilies one by one and make a powder (I used the microwave for heating)
2. Steam cook the garlic cloves for exactly 4 minutes (cooking time should not be any more, this is very important according to grandma) I used the idli steamer to steam. If there are droplets of water on the cloves pat dry and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a kadai, or a wide mouthed pan and when hot add a few mustard seeds
3. Now add the garlic and fry for a 3-4 minutes in the hot oil
4. Add the lemon juice and let it come to a boil.
5. Now add the sugar and salt and let it continue to cook till the lemon juice is reduced to third of the volume
6. Now add the red chili powder and mix and cook for 3-4 minutes
7. Add a bit more oil if required and let it heat through for a couple more minutes.
Let cool and transfer to a clean jar. Stays fresh for a couple of weeks and longer in the refrigerator.