Narthangai (Citron) Pickle

Narthangai, also known as Citron or Bitter Orange, has lots of medicinal value, aids digestion and removes the bitterness in the tongue. It is used for making dry pickle, spicy pickle, Pachadi, Kuzhambu etc. Like lemon rice, we can make Narthangai Rice using its juice.
Narthanga
Here is a spicy pickle recipe:

Ingredients

  • Narthangai (Citron) – 5 nos
  • Crystal Salt (Kal Uppu) – 4 to 5 tablespoons
  • Red Chilli Powder – 4 to 5 teaspoons
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Fenugreek seeds (Vendhayam) – 1 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Gingelly Oil – 5 to 6 tablespoons
  • Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon


Directions

  1. Wash the Narthangai and wipe it with a clean cloth or paper towel. Ensure no water content on the Narthangai.
  2. Keep one Narthangai aside (we need it for taking out the juice at the end).
  3. Cut the remaining 4 Narthangai into small pieces. Keep the Narthangai in a Broad plate and cut it so that the juice while cutting will stay in the plate. Remove the seeds. Put the cut pieces along with the juice into a ceramic jar. Add salt and shake the jar well. Cut the remaining Narthangai into two and squeeze out the juice on top of the cut pieces. Again shake it well. Close with lid and keep aside.
  4. Everyday morning and evening shake the jar well and leave it. Repeat this for 3 to 4 days. If needed, you can use a wooden spoon and mix it well. At the end of 4th day, you may find the pieces soft (it will not be too soft, just right to eat) and skin colour changed. If it is not soft, then you can keep it for one more day.
  5. When it is soft and eatable, add red chilli powder and turmeric powder and stir well.
  6. Dry fry the fenugreek seeds and powder it.
  7. In a kadai put the oil and when it is hot add mustard. When it pops up add asafoetida powder and switch off the stove. Pour this oil over the pickle. Add fenugreek powder and mix the pickle well. Transfer to a clean ceramic or glass jar.
  8. Stay good for a month and if you refrigerate it, it will stay good more more days. Shelf life of any pickle depends upon how you handle it. Always use dry spoon. Take out small quantity and use it.
  9. Note: Normally, Narthanghai with thick skin does not have enough juice to get the pickle soaked well. Hence we are adding juice from the Narthanghai. If you use thin skinned juicy type citron, you can cut all the citrons and use it.

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