This month, I decided to participate in the AtoZ Challenge, hosted by Vidya and Jolly. I have been planning the post since long and made sure I had cooked and shot for it in advance. Since we are in Ramadan, I didn’t want to be bothered with more cooking, at the same time didn’t want to miss participating in this challenge. My first entry was this simple stir fry with eggplant, since that month we were cooking with ingredients starting with “E”. I decided to give “F” a miss though it was quite easy to have done a post with it. This month, the alphabet is “G” and I chose garlic to be the main ingredient.
Garlic needs no introduction in Indian cooking especially. It is used in almost every non-vegetarian dish that can be thought of. Vegetarians do use it with a little bit of restraint since the flavors are considered to be more in line with non-veg. You may notice that during their fasting days, they do avoid food with onion and garlic. I realized it more when I was trying to trace sadya recipes for our state. In Malabar, we use garlic and fennel even in our vegetarian dishes, but in the southern Kerala, it is more of ginger and cumin. Then Meena explained to me why it is so. Blogging does teach you a lot… 🙂
OK, so coming back to the garlic, I chose to make our style garlic pickle. If there is any pickle we enjoy at home, it is garlic pickle. My mattamma makes the most amazing garlic pickle in the world. It is less spicy, so even Azza enjoys them. We are not a pickle family, so I hardly have any in my fridge. But the garlic pickle is a must. Mattamma had told me how she makes it, but then the difference in hand surely shows, and I prefer to get it from her. Sometimes umma laments how hard it is to peel close to a kilo of garlic and how she needs to prod some of her relatives to help her with it. 😀
I had this bottle of fried garlic soaked in vinegar, we had bought from home last year from a famous pickle shop in Calicut. We had bought other small pickle bottles from there like beetroot and papaya, and both were amazing. But the garlic bottle stayed in the pantry and HD wouldn’t allow me to give it away. Finally, when we ran out of stock of mattamma’s pickle, I quickly put this bottle into action. I pulled up from my memory recesses how she makes it and went through it. It was slightly more spicier but then it tastes awesome! HD did make out that it wasn’t mattamma’s achaar but didn’t say anything else. He still enjoys it every Friday and there is a little bit more left. 😉
Even though I took the short cut, I have put all the steps in the recipe card as explained by my grandma. You can adjust the chilli powder as per your spice levels. Allowing it to rest will increase the flavors. I store my pickles in the fridge since my kitchen is too warm, and as long as you don’t dip a wet spoon into your pickle, it stays good for as long as it can! Off to this recipe…
Vellulli Achaar | Malabar Garlic Pickle
- 500 gm garlic Indian garlic, peeled
- Oil for deep frying
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 3-4 sprigs curry leaves minced
- 1 tbsp red chilli powoder
- 3 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- Vinegar as needed
- FOR ROASTING:
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
- Peel the garlic. Wash it well and dry on a kitchen towel till no trace of water is there.
- Heat enough oil in a kadai for deep frying. Drop the garlic in batches and fry briefly for a couple of minutes. Do not brown it. Drain it onto a kitchen towel. Repeat till all is done. Allow to cool completely.
- Put the garlic into a bottle and pour vinegar till an inch above it. Add some salt and give it a good mix.
- Roast the mustard and fenugreek seeds briefly. Pound using a mortar and pestle till coarse powder.
- Mix the chilli powders and turmeric powder into a paste with little water.
- Heat the coconut oil and splutter the mustard seeds. Briefly fry the minced curry leaves. Add the spice paste and give a good mix. Make sure the flame is on simmer so that the paste doesn't burn. Saute till the raw smell is gone. Switch off and allow to cool.
- Pour 1/4 cup of vinegar into this mixture, add the pounded powder and whisk well. Add salt and mix.
- Pour this into the soaking garlic and mix well. Add more vinegar if required. Allow it to rest for 24 hours.