Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Red Chilli Pickle - Pandu Mirapakaaya Pachadi

Dear Foodies,

I know, I know...its a pickle and the main ingredient is red chillies :)) Now thats a signature Andhra dish I think :D We do love the heat in our food guys ! My friends and I frequently get the "You are from Andhra..." thing when we say Hot or 6/6 for spice level at Indian restaurants. Its definitely in the soil I must say :D So, when I went to India last time I had my mom pack a small packet of pandu mirapakaya pickle (Ripe red chilli pickle) for me. But as fate would have it, I lost an entire suitcase on my way back and like a perfect example for Murphy's Law all the best pickles, my moms home made mixture and the handicrafts I bought were in that unfortunate baggage. And since I had very thoughtfully(!!) distributed the salwars and kameezs between the two suitcases, I was left with useless halves to haunt me:)) I cannot tell you what it feels like to have just the salwar/kameez or worse just the dupatta of your most fav chudidhar and loosing your first (and most fav) saree :(( The saree was the perfect red chilli color :( ( I told you its everywhere :P)

Well, so basically I could not get the pickle and the ones sold in the Indian store though good lacked the freshness & punch of home made pickle. When I read this post in Anusharaji's blog I was really thrilled. Raji made the pickle using fresno peppers (FREZ-noh) locally available at the grocery store. I was thrilled to find a recipe ! The next time we went veggie shopping I looked for them and found the plump red chillies obediently waiting to be pickled. I made it along with Kichadi the day before our move and the pairing was perfect. I was also surprised by the ease of the recipe. It hardly took me 15 mins...so much for the 1.5 yr wait !!! Thank you so much Raji :)

I made slight variations and adjustments to suit the near empty kitchen I had then.

Ingredients:
  • 5 nos -Ripe Red chillies/Fresno peppers
  • 1 tsp - Fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp - Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp - Tamarind extract
  • a pinch of hing/asafoetida
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp - Oil
Method:
  1. Wash and wipe the peppers dry. Since I was not planning on using the blender I finely chopped them. Otherwise just rough chop them.
  2. Dry roast the fenugreek seeds and then heat the oil and saute the peppers for a few minutes until they get tender. Allow it to cool. I used ready-made tamarind extract from the fridge and so heated it along with the peppers for the last 30sec.
  3. Now transfer the all the ingredients to a blender and pulse to get a coarse paste. If using a pestle & mortar first crush the fenugreek and mustard seeds, then add the rest of the ingredients and crush.

This fresh pachadi was superb. It was very very close to the one we get back home and I absolutely loved it. The peppers were not as hot as I had expected them to be so I added a pinch of red chilli powder for the extra kick :P I also loved the texture that was the result of using a pestle and mortar. If you guys can I would recommend this method over the blender. This pickle was also the perfect match to the mellow kichadi I made. This recipe yields just about a cup of pachadi, not much at all and so it got done even before the kichadi :D Unfortunately these peppers are not so each to find near where I live. I got it at Kroger the first time but after that I went back twice and also checked at other branches but could not find them, Walmart does not stock them either :(
Tidbit: When you are done working with hot peppers/chillies/chilli powder rub & wash your hands with some yogurt/buttermilk. This will take off all the chilli juice and soothe your skin. Soap does not do a perfect job and your skin continues to feel irritated even after repeated washing. I learnt this tip from my aunt who is one the best food enthusiasts I have met.
This one too is for Coffee to preserve and a special package is off to Nandita's Hot theme for JFI this month: JFI-Chillies and a huge Thank you to Indira for getting the JFI event rolling !

22 thoughts:

anusharaji said...

did u check my pickle?
luv the way u used mortar n pestle
i need to buy one :(

Saju said...

wow! My mouth is burning just looking at your chilli pickle!

Sreelu said...

Priya,
brave attempt at making pandu mirapakaya pachadi, I use this to make cabbage,dondakaya pickle.

I know how bad it feels to loose a suitcase, everytrip there is always tension with luggage.
On the brighter side you got a chance to try a new recipe :

Suganya said...

I love chilli pickle..Goes great curd rice.

bee said...

i can't eat very hot stuff, but this looks so pretty, i gotta try it.

Priya said...


This one is from YOUR recipe Anusha :) We got this pestle n mortar from Bed, Bath n Beyond. Not very expensive either

hahaha...Its actually not so hot Saju, these peppers are really a lot milder than the Indian ones.

You loose some, you gain some !! :)
Is it the same recipe for cabbage and dondakaya ?? Have never tried those Sreelu

Everything tastes better with curd rice Suganya !!

Bee you must try it, the Fresna peppers aren't as hot as they look to be. I had to add chilli powder to get it to the 5/6 spice level.

Nabeela said...

Oh.My.God!
I LOOOOOOVE red chilis. I LOOOOOOVE pickle. I LOOOOOOOVE your post :D
And by the way, whats this about you losing your baggage? How come you never got it back? I used to think even if the baggage got lost, it would turn up sooner or later.....now, I have another thing to worry about when I travel.
And by the way, that mango-ginger pickle looked delicious too....I'm slooowly catching up on my blog reading...have been having too much fun lately to go online :)

Sharmi said...

wow that pachadi rocks. you are killing me with those pics. so you get pandu mirapakaya in your place? lovely!!

DEEPA said...

Priya excellent one....too good ...best combho would be curd rice or even dosai i think so ....

Roopa said...

yummy pickle. the color looks great.

Nirmala said...

I too feel sad...losing our most favorite and precious things like pickles from mom is really sad...But the pickle looks really hot and great!

Coffee said...

This looks wonderful! Its a must try for sure. :)

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

WOooooo....I love this pickle.... wating to try it ...

Priyanka said...

Great spicy recipe. AM bookmarking it. Thanks for sharing.

Hima said...

Love it. My mom makes the best pickle. Never tried before have to give it a try and see. Thanks for the recipe.

Dee said...

I love this pickle and raji's recipes are simle yet tantalizing, my all time favourite of her recipes is amaranth avakaya.

Taste of Mysore said...

Drooling over those pickle pics! I had a friend from Andhra who used to get me a big bottle full of red chilli pickle. Miss that so much. About your luggage, its so unfortunate that you lost it...

Sig said...

That pickle looks delicious Priya... red chilli and pickle, whats not to like...

I too have lost a bag once, and never got it back... I got reimbursed for it, but there is nothing like losing your stuff...
:( My favorite jacket from Paris was gone, and I can never get it back :(..
So I totally understand how you feel, hugs to you....

Mallugirl said...

wonderful combination for a pachadi!sorry to hear abt ur churidars..:) and u are right, till recently i didn't know andhra food is so spicy.

kunika said...

hi
It looks gr8 i love chillies.
www.sofeminine.blogspot.com

anusharaji said...

bed bath n beyond!
i always thought of buying the mortar n pestle from crate n barrel. they have two kinds i guess.

bonika11 said...

hello
i'am from germany
priya red chillies pickel is very delicous.
does anybody know how to get it in good old germany?
klaus wenigmann
wenigmann@freenet.de

Blogging tips