Gargal ka Achaar/Pickled Gargal
Gargal is a citrus fruit that is native to the region of Jammu and its surrounding districts. Technically, Gargal (and others such as Kimbh) have been classified as Wild Edible Plants (WEPs). If you are in the mood for some more information about these plants and their significance to the region, this research paper from the University of Jammu is a good read.
One of the most common ways of preparing Gargal is to pickle them, and that is what this post will be about. I should forewarn you that this process will take around 3 days from start to finish.
Because these are pickled, they will easily last you at least six months, and it's something useful to have in the pantry if you ever want a bit of acidity or sourness with your food.
Since Gargal don't necessarily grow outside of this specific region, I could not find a suitable replacement for Gargal in this recipe. However, should this gives you any ideas of what you can replace Gargal with, I am all ears in the comments below.
Gargal - 500g
Salt - 3.5 to 4 tsp but can adjust to taste
Turmeric - 50 g
Red chilli powder - 50g
Mustard oil - 100g
Sugar - 5tsp
Heeng/asafoetida - 0.25 tsp
Ginger - approx 1" knob
Green chillies - approx 10
Wash the Gargal under some running warm water and then cut them into 2-inch cubes.
Once cut, the next step is to dehydrate the Gargal. We do so by rubbing salt on them and then drying them under the sun for at least 8 to 10 hours. Note that the amount of time needed in the sun can vary depending on how strong the sun is and the general weather conditions like humidity.
Once you have dehydrated the Gargal sufficiently, add mustard oil, salt, sugar, asafoetida, red chilli powder and turmeric into a mixing bowl.
Give the ginger a good wash and then dry it. Peel off its skin, chop it however you like and add it to the bowl. Give everything a good mix.
Wash and add green chillies as well and then dry them with a paper towel. You can add them whole or sliced; it's totally up to you.
Now add the dried Gargal into the bowl and mix them well.
Cover the mixing bowl with a muslin cloth to let all the moisture escape as it builds inside the bowl. Let it rest for 2 days.
After a couple of days, it will be all ready for you to enjoy.
Relish this, shear your comments below. See you all in the next one.