I was reviewing the recipes I posted in the year gone by. I was so amused to see my Andhra origins coming through loud and clear with the number of pachadi and uragaya recipes I have posted. So I thought why break the tradition and am continuing this year with the same theme.
Nimmakaya Khaaram is a simple but HOT side dish that goes fantastically well with hot rice and ghee or mudda-pappu Annam, or then with idli or garelu (medu vada or ulundu vada). I had quite forgotten about it till I had it at my nephew’s place in Chennai, when I visited him in December. Thank you, Jyoti and Rani, for this marvellous heirloom recipe.
Minapa Pappu/Udad Dal/Black Gram – 1 tsp
Avalu/Rai/Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Menthulu/Methi Dana/Fenugreek Seeds – 1/4 tsp
Red Chillies – 10 to 12
Oil – 1 tsp
Lemon Juice – 3-4 tbsp
Salt to Taste
Heat the oil in a ladle.
Add the mustard seeds, udad dal, and methi seeds.
Over medium heat, fry till the udad dal starts to turn golden brown brown.
Add the split red chillies and fry for about 1 minute.
Let the mix cool.
Grind to fine powder.
Remove the powder into a bowl.
Add the lemon juice and salt.
Serve with hot rice and ghee, idlis, or medu vada.
You can store the powder in an air-tight jar and use as much as needed with the appropriate amount of lemon juice.
The red chillies should be really spicy for you to appreciate this dish. 🙂
Nimmakaya Urugaya (or simply Nimmakaya) can be fund in most South Indian homes and certainly in many South Indian weddings. The pleasure of having Nimmakaya with Perugu Annam (curd rice/thair sadam) is indescribable.
This pickle is one of the few foods that you can “taste” when you are ill and when your sense of taste is dulled.
As children, when we were ill, my mother and grandmother would wash off all the spice/masala from the pickled lemon pieces and give us the piece to suck or with pappu annam or perugu annam. On other days, I would save the “cleaned” piece for the last while having lunch/dinner, only to have my brother steal it! 🙂
You can find lemons all through the year in India. However, the best time to make lemon pickle is in winter when you get the juicy fruit in abundance.
This is a nilava urugaya, which means that you can preserve and use it for up to 2 years or more.