#274 The dawn of yet another Kerala New Year- Happy Vishu
Happy Vishu and a Prosperous New Year to all Malayalees Worldwide!!
The festival Vishu is the beginning of the New Year for Keralites and it has an astrological and historical relevance. Just like Pongal in Tamil Nadu it is more like a thanksgiving celebration between nature and the human species. The VishuKani has cucumber, jackfruit, mangoes and fresh yellow flowers. Since the original Kanikonna is not available I make do with yellow Forsythia just for re-kindling nostalgic memories of home.Vishu is never complete without at least three pickles on the Menu.
I was about to toss the peels of the oranges we were eating and R mentioned an Orange peel pickle his mother used to make when he was a little boy. Can I get a show of hands for how many of you have heard their husbands talk about their Moms' dishes? So now, I felt the need to make this pickle for him although he is bound to say it's good but not as good as Mom's!! I have never heard or tasted Orange peel pickle but I have become a fan now. So instead of the Ginger/inji curry that I usually make on such occasions, today I decided to pickle a couple of Navel orange peels. Why Navel oranges? Because they are easily available at this time of the year and they have crisp, thick, clean and bright outer coats. Anyway, it turned out really delicious with a hint of sweet brown sugar and chili and I can't say enough about the blood cleansing power of Orange peel!!
Navel Orange peels- of 2 oranges.
Chili powder- 2 tspn
Green chili- 1
Methi(fenugreek) seeds- 1 pinch
roast and powder the methi seeds
Asafoetida- 1/4 tspn
Brown sugar- 2 Tblspns
Tamarind Paste- 1 Tspn
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds, Curry leaves, red chilis and olive oil for tempering
1. Chop the peels and green chili into very small bits. Keep aside.
2. Place a saucepan over a medium fire and add about 1 Tblpsn Olive oil.
3. When it warms up add 1/2 tspn mustard, split red chili, curry leaves and wait until
the mustard seeds splutter.
4. Slowly add the orange peel and green chili and saute on low flame for about 2 mins.
5. When the peel is crisped, add the rest of the ingredients and just enough water.
6. Season well and let the peel cook down.
7. Taste to confirm that the pickle is well seasoned, remove from fire and cool.
8. Serve as a side dish for Vishu or Onam.This is simply delicious with almost any meal!!