Monday, April 24, 2017

Posted by Mala at 1:00:00 AM No comments
In my maternal Salem home, there used to be two sacred rooms, both surprisingly starting with the letter "P".......One used to be the Pooja Room, and the other, the Pickle Room.
Surprised??? that is true.......without taking bath, we weren't supposed to enter both the rooms. Pickles used to be stored in huge ceramic  jars, the mouths of which used to be tied with a thin muslin cloth. Twice a week, these "tying clothes" used to be washed, dried , folded and kept separately. My mom will yell at me, if I dared to enter the room without bathing......and these jars will never ever be opened in the late evenings, morning is the only ideal time to open the jar and take out some pickle. So, always, all kinds of pickles used to be kept out in small quantities.
My mom and sister were experts in all kinds of pickles, and this special Mahaali curd pickle is a signature dish of Salem home.
Many make it just with salt and chilli powder, take small quantities as and when they require and mix with curd. This is a special recipe, which I proudly share with you all.
Though some call it "Mahaani", I am used to calling it "Mahaali". In Sanskrit it is called "Kshirini" and in English, this is the Sarasaprilla root, it is also "Nannari" in tamil and in Hindi, it is "Ananthamool".
Sarasaparilla juice is also very famous and and widely used during summer.
This root has many amazing health benefits, and when this kind of pickle is made, it increases your appetite and you definitely have to cook more rice.
Please check my Glossary for any unknown terms

Look at the beautiful color!!!

Mahaali roots - 400 gms (chopped pieces came to 2 cups, roughly)
Green chillies - 9-10, slit
Lemon juice - 1/4 cup
Thick curds/yogurt - 2 1/2 cups, whisked well

To grind
Turmeric powder - 1 1/2 tsps
Red chillies - 8-9
Mustard seeds - 2 tsps
Rock salt to taste

Recipe Cuisine:  South Indian; Category: Pickle
Prep time: 30 -40 mts; Cooking time: Nil

Yields roughly 750 gms of pickle

These are the Mahaali roots........well...if you do not like any one, if you want to give them some laborious work, then ask them to cut is so very hard and tedious, though, making the pickle is a simple affair.
First, the mahaali roots have to be soaked over night, scrubbed very well. There will lot of dirt and sand sticking on to the roots. Next morning, take them out, wipe them well with a cloth.

 Picture below shows the strong and hard core of the mahaali , which have to be removed.

Then it will be like this

Chop them into not too tiny bits.

At once, they have to be dropped into the well whisked curds

Mix well

Take the ingredients mentioned above for grinding in the small jar of the blender

Add 3-4 tsps of water, and blend to a smooth paste

Add this paste also to the curd-mahaali mixture

Mix well

Green chillies, washed and wiped well

Slit and add them too.

Add quarter cup fresh lemon juice.

Here is the aromatic, really beautiful looking, lovely colored pickle. Make and enjoy!!!

This post first appeared in
*Please check the taste, I needed to add some salt and 2 more tbsps of lemon juice.
*Keep in a small container for daily use, store the rest in refrigerator.


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