Last weekend, we went to Houston’s wholesale produce market called Canino Farmer’s Market for mangoes. In the market, limes were also available abundant. Key limes were 30 for a dollar and Persian limes were 20 for a dollar. I bought 60 key limes and 20 Persian limes for a total of 4 dollars.
Key limes are small sized, Indian type limes with relatively thin skin, so they are great for pickle base. Persian limes are seedless and full of juice, good for pickle juice. I made same kind of preserve last year with key lime and Persian lime combination and it was wonderful, both size and juicewise for nimma uragaaya.
The pickle I have remaining from last year lasts for just another few weeks. Now the weather is right, ingredients are right and it would take at least two months for key lime’s eye-crossing bitter-sourness to mingle with other ingredients and mellow. I know now, why our folks craved making these pickles year after year, every year. They are comfort food, particularly during cold, winter months. What also attracts me more is the texture, the color and the aroma. The whole process is addictive and enthralling.
For detail recipe directions – click here.
Prepare with fresh ingredients, add enough salt and keep the pickle making area and vessels dry and moisture free. Follow these pickle precautions for successful tradition of nimma uragaaya.
60 keylimes – wash, dry with a towel and sun-dry for an hour. Then, cut into quarters.
20 persian limes – Wash and wipe off the moisture. Cut and squeeze juice. We need at least 3 to 4 cups of limejuice. The more juice we add to uragaaya, the tastier the uragaaya will be.
1¾ cups, iodine-free salt or sea salt
1 cup, red chilli powder
1/8 cup, methi seeds – roast to red in an iron skillet on low heat. Cool and then powder to fine.
Pickle Popu: Heat two tablespoons of peanut oil. When oil it hot, add quarter teaspoon of hing. Toast for couple of seconds to fragrance. Turn off the heat. Keep aside to cool to room temperature.
1. Pour salt, red chilli powder and methi seed powder over key lime pieces. Mix well with your clean, dry hand or big wooden spoon.
2. Pour lime juice and pickle popu over keylime pickle. Mix well. Spoon into a ceramic or glass jar. Keep the jar loosely covered with a non-corrosive lid. Place the jar on the kitchen countertop where air circulates freely. Mix once a day with a dry, wooden spoon, for a week.
3. Cover loosely and leave the pickle undisturbed for a month. With time, the skin softens and nimma uragaaya achieves a special mellow sourness with echoes of ancient world.
Nimma Uragaaya will keep for several months to a year without refrigeration.
Nimma Uragaaya Worship with Salt, Chilli Powder and Methi Powder
Nimma Uragaaya ~ Comfort Food for Winter Time