Saturday, January 31, 2009

Garlic Pickle -- Grandma's recipe

Our newest and most famous resident called us weather wimps.
"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

Garlic Pickle
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.


  1. Wow its heavenly! I love garlic,it adds a zing to any food.I get large garlic pods,can i make using them?

  2. Wow spicy garlic pickles looks superb, its too long i prepared pickle, need to try some pickles soon..bookmarked!! will try soon...

  3. I am salivating... for garlic pickle would be the only one I would buy or many years:-) the "mothers recipe" brand. wish I could have some with parathas.

  4. This is delicious. Wow you are a pickle addict.
    We had more snow and I bunked work on Wed but the kiddo had school :D

  5. Nithya, you can definitely use the large garlic pods but the best taste is with the small pods.

  6. Absolutely lipsmacking...

  7. This Washington also gets a lot of flak from folks from the east. Here we get one small snow storm and everyone stays home... :) We might as well, because nobody here knows how to drive in the snow, and the slip and slide accidents are plenty...
    I love garlic pickle, haven't had it in ages, that looks delish!

  8. I don't think he's completely wrong.. the snow seriously wasn't all that bad and to close 2 days didn't really seem necessary. The late opening was also a major inconvenience for me - that too when the roads were just perfect.

    I love pickles but hardly use them up so I have lots of bottles lying around. All the same, i'm so tempted to try yours :) Looks great.

  9. I love garlic pickle and I usually buy Priya's garlic pickle available here in India.. but I'll try your recipe sometime soon.. :-)

  10. oh...i love pickles:)Iam just drooloing overr it.Its very easy and will sure gonna try:)do visit my blog at ur free time:)

  11. Better safe than sorry, I say, when it comes to ice!
    I've never made pickle so far. Your garlic pickle looks fab!!

  12. Pack a bottle for me and send it for me pleas. Ilove garlic pickle,we always had them at home, now it is ages ago i had them.

  13. grandma's recipe can never go wrong. right? I should also learn some recipes from my grandma.

  14. I loves garlic pickles too - well, love any pickle that isn't sweet!
    DH has been begging for some pickles recently that I made Cranberry thokku today.

    Will give your poondu oorugai a try soon. I'm salivating already by looking at it.

  15. Now I have good reason to hoard the tiny cloves at the middle of a bulb of garlic, ISG! It's a real treasure to have such a recipe -- not unlike magic sambhar pwd ;) So nice to see you are preserving it -- no pun intended.

    When you add the lemon juice to the garlic in oil, does it splatter much? Whole thing sounds so good -- and steaming the garlic first makes so much sense... thank goodness for grandmothers and thanks for sharing! :)

    BTW I caught that comment too from Mr. President -- I think down DC way y'all aren't equipped to handle much more than a few inches hence the cancellations? Here in New England we're gun-shy after a few disastrous commutes last year. m. had a snow day too on weds and we didn't get near as much as predicted.

  16. Kay, take it from a pickle addict, this is one of the best.

    Linda, that is a good question. No sauteing the garlic pods lowers the temp. of the oil and hence no splatter when lemon juice is added.

  17. We too make pickles in somewht same masala like this,just that we pickle onions and carrots in that masala..but garlic.....heaven heaven.I am so much craving for one now :-(

  18. That looks hot, spicy and delicious... i too posted this one year back...

  19. Yeah! I saw that too! :D

    We lived in Minnesota for 3 1/2 yrs before we moved here to NC. Here, they close the schools for 2" snow while we bravely went thru' -60F windchill Blizzard in MN! :D

    Garlic pickle looks mouthwatering.

    Enjoyed the game fully last night, bit tired to surf or blog today! :)

  20. Bookmarked!
    The color of the pickle make my moth water. I will try it definitely. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  21. this recipe sounds like a keeper. :)

  22. I love the flavour .. looks yumm

  23. Looks good Indo.. My MIL makes wonderful mango pickles.. but she has not tried garlic.. She would really be happy if i pass this reipe to her.

  24. what a coincidence!! i was thinking of garlic pickle just yesterday!!
    snow closings are a pain, but u are right, kids pray for it and mine even sleeps with pajamas inside out to get it to snow!!

  25. yummy .. and very nice recipe for pickle.

  26. You have mentioned sugar two times, its a typo I guess, can you please edit it and tell us how much of salt to be added and how much of sugar.

  27. Mona, thanks, I must have looked at the recipe at least a 100 times and did not notice that.

  28. spicy...i luv this pickle...u can also try this... pickle


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