Pudina Pickle… Like Amma Used To Make It
chelsea buns, chips or sometimes peanuts - one of Amma's favorite ingredients for Pudina Pickle. Amma would pick fresh mint from the mint patch in our back garden (all planting space in the front of the house was reserved for flowers only). She would carefully pick only the good leaves then grind the ingredients for her pudina pickle in her orange mincer. Though that mincer served her well over time it was not the most appropriate for ‘grinding’ mint- this usually meant having to repeat the grinding process for best results. But such was everything that Amma did – living up to her motto – ‘do it properly or don’t do it at all’.
After grinding the mint Amma would braise the mint with onions and masala then simmer in tamarind water. Once cooled, she would bottle the pudina pickle in re-used glass jars. My father would reap the rewards of this process when he got home for breakfast at 8 am (his work began at 6am but was home for breakfast at 8 and lunch at 1 o’ clock). A breakfast which usually included reheated curry from the night before or freshly cooked egg chutney or braised baked beans with bread and a glass of sour porridge – complimented by Amma’s pudina pickle.
Pudina Pickle RecipePrep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Yield: Enough to fill a 200ml jar
- 3 cups fresh mint (peppermint)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon oil (for braising onions)
- 1 cup peanuts
- Half onion to be sliced fine
- 200 ml water
- 2 tablespoons tamarind
- Half medium sized tomato
- Fresh green chilies (use desired limit)
- Half teaspoon salt
- Optional: Half teaspoon masala (for vegetable curry) or chilli powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (for storing)
1. Toast the nuts on medium heat.
2. Wash and prepare the mint. Pick the leaves only. Although the stalks can be used to increase the quantity of the pudina pickle- it does affect the quality. I recommend using the leaves only. This may require 2-3 bunches of mint.
3. Prepare the garlic by toasting it in skin. Remove skin then slice into small pieces. Cut the tomato into small pieces to assist the grinding process.
4. Soak the tamarind in 200 ml water.
5. Place the mint, tomatoes, peanuts, garlic in blender. Blend until a smooth paste like texture forms.
6. Braise the onions on medium heat until soft.
Optional: Add half teaspoon masala braise for 2-3 minutes.
Add the mint paste into the braised onions. Add tamarind water. Stir. Allow to simmer for 12-15 minutes on low heat. Once cooled store in sterilized glass jars. Store in the fridge.
Notes and Tips:
- Amma’s recipe used masala to braise the mint- if you prefer a milder pudina pickle then omit this step.
- Add olive oil over the top this will help prevent the pudina pickle from losing its green color and keep the pickle moist.
- Increasing the nut quantity results in a thicker consistency and more nutty rather than mint flavor.
- Quantities may vary depending on the type and quantity of mint used. Add more water for a weaker consistency. Add more nuts for a thicker consistency but always maintain the same mint: nuts ratio of 3:1 i.e. 3 parts mint for every 1 part nuts.