Pickles are an integral part of Indian cuisine and a staple condiment across India. Pickles from South India are spicy and mango pickle is one of the most common pickles in every household. South Indian apple pickle is a replica of mango pickle 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 have a long shelf life unlike the vegetable and meat pickles.
Ingredients for South Indian Pickles or Achaars
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 pickle, the main ingredients are mustard powder or sesame seed powder, chili powder, salt and oil with a touch of fenugreek powder.
This spice mix is a make ahead blend. This blend stays good for months and 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 in South Indian Style Apple Pickle?
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 of Apple Pickle?
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 to serve pickle and any touch of water, pickle 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 pickle masala. Use one apple or 1 ¾ cup cut apple or mango pieces for 1 ¼ cup of pickle masala.
South Indian Style Apple Pickle Recipe
South Indian Apple Pickle
- ⅔ cups Roasted Sesame Seeds Powder
- ½ tsp Toasted Fenugreek Powder
- ½ tsp Mustard Powder
- ⅓ cup + 2 tsp Chili Powder, adjust to taste
- 3 tbsp Salt, adjust to taste
- 1 Granny Smith Apple
- 1 tbsp 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 tsp Mustard Seeds
- ¼ tsp Fenugreek Seeds
- ¼ tsp 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 a 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. Prepare this spice mix is ahead and use it when ready to prepare the pickle.
- 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 hence, can can down on oil. I used ½ cup of oil but ⅓ cup will do.
- If the apple 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 weeks.
- 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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