A flavorful, spicy South Indian pickle with tart green apples, a finger licking condiment to serve with rice or even with roti.
Pickles are an integral part of Indian cuisine and a staple condiment across India. Pickle is also known as pachadi in Telugu and achar in Hindi. South Indian pachadlu (plural) are spicy and mango pachadi is one of the most common pickle in every household. South Indian apple pachadi is a replica of mango where green apples substitute mangoes.
South Indian Pickles
The main spices in South Indian pickles are chili powder, salt and mustard, plus a few additional spices depending on the region. In pickles other than lime and tamarind, oil acts as one of the preservatives and most of the pickles are loaded with oil. Mango, lime, tamarind, gooseberries pickles have a long shelf life unlike the vegetable and meat pickles.
In Telangana there are two main mango pickles. One is mustard based called aava pachadi or aavakaya and the other is sesame seed based called noogaya pachadi or sogi. Depending on the flavor, the main ingredient is either mustard powder or sesame seed powder, along with chili powder and salt.
Some of the common achars with sesame seeds are mango, carrot cauliflower pachadi, potato and elephant yam. Avakaya or mustard flavored mango pickle is one of the most popular and common pickle in Telugu speaking states. Dondakaya ava is equally tasty mustard flavored pickle. Here mango is replaced with ivy gourd.
Ingredients for Sogi or Noogaya pachadi
Today's recipe is sesame seed based, hence it is a sogi pachadi or noogaya pachadi. In some parts of Telangana pickles are also called thokku. The main ingredients for thokku are equal quantities of sesame seed powder, chili powder and salt along with apple pieces, lime juice and few pinches of mustard powder and fenugreek powder.
- Sesame seed powder - wash, dry roast sesame seeds and make a powder.
- Chili Powder - same ration as sesame powder but if it is not too hot, add a bit more.
- Salt - age old recipe says the ratio is same as sesame seed powder but in recent years, packaged salt is saltier. Hence the ratio now is almost half the quantity of sesame seeds.
- Oil - little less than 1 part of sesame seeds.
- Tart green apple.
- Lime juice - only if the apples are not tart.
- Garlic cloves
- Mustard and fenugreek powder.
This spice mix is a make ahead blend. It stays good for months. Some people do the tempering as well and store spice masala in the refrigerator. All one needs to do is mix pickling fruit or vegetable to the spice blend. If the tempering is not already done, then add the tempering along with the vegetables or fruits.
Which Apples to use?
Tart and firm apple are the best to prepare spicy hot South Indian pickle. I use Granny Smith apples but any tart variety works just fine.
What is the Shelf Life?
Apple pickle does not have a long shelf life. It stays fresh for about a week but will stay good in the refrigerator for at least a month or longer. However, I recommend consuming it in a week or 2 as I personally do not like the taste of the apple as the pickle ages. Use dry spoon when serving and any touch of water, it becomes a growing ground for fungus!
Pickle masala from BM 100 meet for those of you who attended the Hyderabad meet, the below recipe is equal to 1 ¼ cup of masala. Use one apple or 1 ¾ cup cut apple or mango pieces for 1 ¼ cup of masala.
South Indian Style Apple Pickle Recipe
South Indian Apple Pickle
- ⅔ cups Roasted Sesame Seeds Powder
- ½ teaspoon Toasted Fenugreek Powder
- ½ teaspoon Mustard Powder
- ⅓ cup + 2 teaspoon Chili Powder, adjust to taste
- 3 tablespoon Salt, adjust to taste
- 1 Granny Smith Apple
- 1 tablespoon Lime Juice
- 4 fat Cloves of Garlic cut into 4 - 5 pieces, about ¼ cup, optional
- ⅓ - ½ cup Oil I used ½ cup
- ½ teaspoon Mustard Seeds
- ¼ teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
- ¼ teaspoon seeds from Red Chilies optional
- Wash sesame seeds, drain in colander.
- Heat a pan and dry roast sesame seeds on medium flame until toasted. When you crush seeds between two fingers, it should easily crush.
- Transfer to a plate and cool.
- In the same pan dry roast few fenugreek seeds on low flame until seeds change color, just one shade. Let cool.
- Grind fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds separately.
- Grind sesame seeds to a powder. Grind in 5 second intervals taking care not to over grind, which could result in a sesame paste.
- Wash apple and wipe with a kitchen towel.
- Cut vertically into quarters and remove the core. Cut each quarter into ¾” pieces. This is about 1 ¾ cup of apple pieces.
- Transfer to a wide bowl, add garlic, squeeze lime juice and toss apple pieces. Lime is used to avoid discoloration of apples and also to give some sour taste to the pickle. If apple is very tart, use less lime juice or skip all together. You can always add more lime juice if needed, after tasting the pickle.
- In a separate bowl take roasted sesame seeds powder, chili powder, salt, fenugreek powder, mustard powder and mix together to combine. This is a make ahead spice mix.
- Add the spice mix to apple pieces and mix well.
- In a pan heat oil for tempering.
- When oil is hot, add mustard seeds and turn off the heat.
- Immediately add fenugreek seeds or fenugreek powder and chili seeds if using.
- Seeds will toast in the hot oil.
- Let the tempering cool, pour over apple mixture and mix well. The pickle might look dry and oil may not float right away.
- Let the pickle settle for 2-3 hours or over night and oil will begin to float on top. If it does not, and if you feel the pickle masala is dry, heat some oil, cool and mix it in the pickle.
- Transfer to glass jar and store at room temperature for 3-4 days and then refrigerate.
- Oil acts as one of the preservatives in pickle. This pickle does not have a long shelf life hence, can cut down on oil. I used ½ cup of oil but ⅓ cup will do.
- If the apples are not tart, add more lime juice.
- This is not one of those pickle you want to make in bulk. Make in small batches and consume it in a week or 2.
- This recipe yields about 1 ½ - 2 cups of pickle.
- Mango is a good substitute for apple and no need to use lime juice as mangoes are usually sour and tart than apples.
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