This is the one K refers to as b@m burning pickle…and as Sig said to me on the photo blog “Bum burning ones are the best kinda food, on the way in that is” . I couldn’t agree more. And while i have had chutney’s hotter than this one, this is the real deal. The one in which you actually grind ripe red chillies with other spices and hope to God you dont touch your nose or eyes or worse, any other delicate part of your anatomy before you wash your hands 3 times with soap!! and unlike Padma’s Tomato pickle, where the red was not from the chilly but from the tomatoes, this one is red and fiery from the chillies allright!!
Around the beginning of summer, Hyderabad is full of fiery red, plump chillies that are sold in heaps and for as long as i can remember, Amma has been making this pickle at this time. When i spotted them in the store a week ago, i gingerly bought a moderate 200 gms to try my hand at them. i must say, they patiently sat in the fridge till i mustered the courage to actually make it!! and now here it is, all hot and sexy on the blog! try it, you wont be disappointed. the best way to eat this pickle is with plain dal and ghee over a little mountain of steaming hot rice. And of course it helps if you have a sound proof loo for the morning after!! (ok…i was kidding!)
Red Chilly Pickle
(makes about 250 gms)
200 grams rip red hot chillies, take of the stem, wash and dry them overnight between layers of absorbent cloth/ paper
when dry, with a dry knife, chop them into 1 inch pieces
50 gms of peeled garlic
50 gms of cleaned tamarind, you can wash the tamarind, remove seeds, string etc and dry overnight between layers of a clean kitchen cloth
salt to taste
4 tablespoons of gingely oil / sesame oil / nuvvula nunne
1/4 teaspoon powdered hing/ asafetida/ inguvva
1/2 teaspoon jeera/ cumin seeds/ jilakarra
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds/ aavalu/ rai
1/2 teaspoon methi seeds/ fenugreek/ menthulu
In a thick bottomed pan or kadai, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and add the peeled garlic and saute till just changing colour. Add the chopped chillies and tamarind and fry for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool. When cool, transfer to a blender jar, add the salt and coarsely grind it till it forms a rough paste. it should not have any large bits of chilli, but everything should be of a similar coarseness. Handle with care from this point on. and for god sakes, however great it may smell, dont stick your nose too close to the jar to smell it.
In the same pan that was used to fry the garlic and chilly, add the rest of the oil and heat it. Add all the ingredients for the seasoning except the asafetida/ hing and fry till the mustard splutters, add the asafetida now and immediately add the coarsely ground chilly paste. fry it in the seasoning for about 2-3 minutes, stirring well till everything is incorporated. turn off the heat and leave to cool. When completely cooled down, transfer to a glass, ceramic or plastic vessel / jar with a lid and store refrigerated. This pickle is supposed to stay well if insane amounts of oil are added. i’d rather skip the oil and pop the bottle into the fridge!!
Enjoy with dosa, idli or steaming hot rice & ghee.