I love the aroma of narthangai and this pickle suits well with curd rice even though it is slightly bitter in taste. As narthangai’s skin is thick, it takes 4 to 5 days to get soft and this can be used as a pickle thereafter.
Citron is known as narthangai (நார்த்தங்காய்) in Tamil and pickle is known as oorugai/oorukai (ஊறுகாய்) in Tamil.
- Narthangai/citron medium size – 4 no
- Crystal salt – quarter cup (adjust as per sourness of citron)
- Red chilli powder – quarter cup (adjust as per taste)
- Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
- Fenugreek – quarter teaspoon
- Asafetida powder – ⅙ of teaspoon
- Mustard powder – generous pinch (I use the readily available)
- Sesame oil – ⅓ cup
- Cut narthangai/citron into pieces in any shape as convenient and remove the seeds; add salt, turmeric powder.
- Mix well and keep it covered; it takes 4 to 5 days minimum for the narthangai pieces to get soft; slowly it gives out the juice and becomes soft; toss this twice a day.
- On the day when you find the pieces soft: dry roast asafetida powder, fenugreek seeds and powder it.
- Sprinkle chilli powder on narthangai pieces; heat seasame oil well in a pan.
- Pour this hot oil, over the chilli powder and then mix well; add asafetida-fenugreek powder, mustard powder and mix well.
- Now Narthangai Oorugai/Citron Pickle is ready. Store in a ceramic or glass airtight container. Daily mix twice with dry spoon till it is fully consumed.
- Quantity of spices can be varied to suit your taste.
- Select the quantity of pickle to last for not more than a week to retain freshness and taste.