Kumquat pickle - Kerala style
For one thing, this egg shaped citrus is quite reversed in its flavor profile. The peel is sweet & redolent of citrussy orange flavor, but once you peel it, you can barely make out 4 tiny segments bloated with inedible seeds. To top it all, the teeny bit of pulp is extremely lip puckering sour.
And so, these fruits sat on my kitchen counter for about 3 weeks. I kept weeding out the occasional rotten bad eggs from the rest, until i decided to use some of the peel for last weeks recipe. (yes folks, the pannacotta was garnished with candied kumquat peel, not orange)
Naranga curry is one of those quick Indian pickles that are whipped up for festive occasions when one does not have the luxury of having time to pickle the citrus fruit. A quick saute in oil softens the fruit and facilitates the absorption of the spice flavors. These do not keep well & have to be used up quickly. ( which is not an issue since they're so delicious!).
Since i really did not want a sweet pickle, I had to peel the rind of, which was labor intensive, but I just juliennned to & added to to a large take out container filled with confectioners sugar. I'll keep you posted on what results!
Except for the kumquats, the ingredients used are the same as Ms. Ramachandran's list, but in different proportions.
For this pickle you need:
1 cup of peeled kumquats, (seeds & all)
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 tsp asafetida powder
1 tbsp Red chilli powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds, toasted brown & powdered.
Heat the oil in a pan & Saute the peeled kumquats till soft.
Using a fork & paring knife, make a slit in the fruits individually & scrape off the seeds from the softened fruit. Discard the seeds.
In the same oil used for sauteeing the kumquat, add mustard seeds & allow to sputter. Add the red chilli, fenugreek and asafetida powders. Add the kumquat, stir to combine well & remove from heat. Allow to cool before transferring into a dry glass container. Ideally the pickle should 'rest' for a day before serving.
(Entering this post in the sweet heat chili challenge hosted by Michele & Lyndsey