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Bharvaan Laal Mirchi ka Achaar - Stuffed Red Chilli Pickle

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Bharvaan Laal Mirchi ka Achaar - Stuffed Red Chilli Pickle
Image © Nikhil Gangavane | Dreamstime.com
This pickle from North India's Uttar Pradesh sounds fiery but it is a classic case of more bark than bite! The best part is, it's easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg large red chillies
  • 2 cups mustard oil
  • 2 tbsps mustard seeds
  • 3 tbsps cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsps aniseed/fennelseeds
  • 5 dry red chillies
  • 8-10 tbsps mustard powder
  • 4 tbsps raw mango powder
  • 15 tbsps salt
  • Juice of 5 limes
  • 1 tsp asafetida

Preparation:

  • Wash and thoroughly dry the chillies. Trim the stems.
  • Slit the chillies upto just under the stem. Do not cut right throught them. Scoop out all the inner flesh and seeds and discard. Oil your hands a bit before you do this and you'll save yourself from the chillies' burn!
  • Roast the dry red chillies, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and aniseed/fennel seeds on a slow fire. Cool and grind coarsely.
  • Mix with the mustard powder, raw mango powder and salt. Add the lime juice to this mix to make a thick paste.
  • Stuff each chilli well with the paste.
  • Put the chillies in a dry, wide-mouthed glass pickling jar (the glass should be able to withstand hot tempratures).
  • Heat the mustard oil in a pan and when very hot add the asafetida and immediately turn off the fire.
  • Pour this oil over the chillies in the jar.
  • Seal the jar and keep it out in the sun for a week to ten days. The longer you keep it out in the sun the better the pickle tastes! Shake gently each day to make sure the oil coats the chillies well.
  • Serve with plain chapati (flatbread) or rice.
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