Peter piper who picked the peck of pickled peppers surely will be changing his choices once he is tried out this green peppercorn pickle.
Why do pickles feature in traditional cuisines?
During the process of pickling the lactobacilli and other good bacteria found always on the surface of the plants are provided a medium to grow selectively over the decay causing ones. The bacteria work on the sugars going on the plants first converting them to lactic acid and stopping further spoilage.
Inteurn these bacteria are good for our body….. Good news here.
Further the fresh produce is being pickled and therefore locks in most of the antioxidants.
Pickles have also been discussed towards mineral content, fibre intensity , ulcer protection and more.
How much of a Peter Piper can one be?
Pickling is definitely a flavour enhancing process. Yet it need to be watched out to the excessive consumption.
The salt levels in a pickle will vary based on the type of pickle it is. So use it as a flavour enhancer and not a main part of your food.
The spices that are added to pickles can be irritating to your stomach lining if you are not used to them. So exercise caution while trying for the first time.
The pickles may trigger off acidity if consumed in excess.Do be mindful.
Take care to submerge the pickle in the brine as it will turn mouldy if exposed. Then it’s a waste of the whole process.
Back to pickling
With all the dos and donts ..i still like a small pickle piece on the plate when I serve my Indian meals.
This recipe is from the process I learnt from my mother. The pepper vines used to climb up the coconut trees in our backyard. The yield was quite large to harvest just as black pepper for a whole year. So the naive young peppercorns were quickly processed into a lemony brine. The rest go on to mature up into black pepper..
These pickled peppers were just the perfect accompaniment to many meals and salads neither too hot nor too salty.
I remember my mother meticulous remove all the stalks and use only the tiny beads. I kinda like to chew on the stalk too.. Which has also taken up the process well hence leave them on.
Don’t miss to scroll down to the notes at the end of the recipe to see how to preserve and use a pickle wisely.
I use this peppercorns not just as pickle with an Indian meal, but in my burgers, a few crushed with their juices in the salad as a dressing with some oil too. Try out your combinations too and let us know how yours are….
Check out more recipes with traditional flavour using these links
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Pickling the right way
- 1 kg green peppercorns fresh
- 1/2 cup cystalline salt Sea salt
- 10-20 lemon to juice, depends on the amount of juice you get from each
You will need clean sun dried or oven dried glass bottles with tight lids. so make sure you keep it ready.
Pick the peppercorn and remove any unwanted sticks, or any debris
Wash them by soaking in a bowl of water.
Drain and pat dry thoroughly using a kitchen towel . leave it open for air drying any water remaining for a short while
Cut the bunches into one inch long pieces.
Put these into the bottle and add the crystalline salt.
Squeeze the juice of ten lemon and pour over the pepper corn.
If the lemon juice is enough to submerge the pieces of pepper then no more lemon is needed.
If not, then squeeze in more lemon to nearly cover the peppercorns. This is the preservation. So, dont hesitate.
Once this is done, close the lid tightly.
Shake the bottle well and set it aside to start the pickling process
Shake the bottle well everyday at least two times
Open the bottle to begin using after one week of shaking and pickling.
Use a clean, dry spoon to remove the peppercorns or they may get contaminated and become moldy.
The pickle stays well for upto two years. ( dont skimp on the lemon)
As the peppercorns get used up and there is enough lemon juice left , use the juice to your salad to brighten up the flavors, mind the salt though.