Hmmm nothing better than biting into a crisp, fresh, apple. And we are smack bang in the middle of apple season here in the UK. I just recently found out that apples were brought over here many centuries ago from the east. So bizarre as for me apples are quintessentially English.
I blagged some free from my friend Livi who has an apple tree growing in her garden. You wouldn’t find these marvellously misshapen beauties in the uniformity-obsessed supermarket! I decided to use the smaller two for a very quick spiced apple pickle (large one saved for apple crumble). And here is my dirty secret confession…I don’t make the spice mix from scratch as my 3-year-old demands my attention. So I use Jalpur Achar Masala which is available online or from your friendly local Indian grocery.
A Gujarati meal is not complete without some pickles and chutneys. And unlike restaurants where they are served as an appetiser with papads, pickles in Guju household are eaten with the main meal, as are papads! This one works with crisp, slightly sour apples.
Before we start, I have to make a small point about the oil used. In India, mustard oil is used for pickles. It gives them a special ‘pickle’ flavour. However, it seems that a systematic (corporate, Western) campaign has resulted in this oil being banned for edible use in Europe, Canada and America. And the production of it is banned in India which I just find disgusting as it was a major source of revenue for many small villages and towns.
I’ve done some research and cannot find any real studies to show the issues with mustard oil. So until there is scientific proof that it’s bad for humans (and not rats) then I’ll use it. Luckily it’s available in my local Indian stores. But hey, it’s not vital and I’m not dogmatic. My dad makes this pickle too and happily uses olive oil… and when I visit him, I greedily eat up his pickle. So it’s up to you – mustard or olive. Or even rapeseed oil. Or if you are willing to go to the expense, there is an Australian company called Yandilla that sells edible pungent mustard oil. Soooo much choice.
- 300 g apples
- 30 ml mustard oil. Alt extra virgin olive oil or rapeseed oil.
- 2 tsp Jalpur Achar Masala mix
- Lemon juice
- 1 tsp sugar
- Wash and core the apples. Cut them into small 2 inch pieces. Then squirt some lemon juice over the apples to stop them browning
- Heat the mustard oil over a gentle heat until it starts to smoke. Then turn off and let cool
- Put the apple pieces into a bowl and add spice mix and sugar. Stir well. I don’t want the pickle too hot so only use 2. With time and practice, you can decided the right amount for your taste
- When the oil has completely cooled, pour over apples and again stir well.
- Put into a sterile jar. When you wants some make sure you use a clean spoon which helps the pickle last for at least a week in the fridge.