Friday, March 16, 2007

Tasty Pickles: Hot-Sweet-Sour Orange or Citron Pachadi (spicy citrus peel in a tamarind sauce)

This is a pickle, though referred to as pachadi, using oranges or citrons (naarthangai). It can be used as a side dish like vathakkuzhambu, or stored for a couple of weeks or longer in the fridge, and used as a pickle.


1 C diced seville or bitter orange (picture), or regular orange, or citron (naarthangai) pieces (seeds removed)
2" diameter ball of fresh tamarind
1/3 C jaggery, powdered
1.5 Tbsp. salt
10-12 green chillies (the size of hatch chillies)
3 Tbsp virgin sesame oil (substitute with vegetable oil as second preference)
1 tsp. asafoetida powder
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 Tbsp. channa dal (split bengal gram)
1 tsp. urad dal (split black gram)
1 tsp. red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 sprigs curry leaves


1. Soak tamarind in 3 C of hot water. Extract the pulp by kneading and squeezing with your fingers. Filter the liquid out and keep it aside.
2. Slice green chillies into thin strips.
3. Strip curry leaves from their stem, and chop coarsely.
4. Heat oil in a kadai or pan on high heat. When it is hot, add asafoetida, turmeric powder, and mustard seeds. Let the seeds crackle.
5. Lower the heat to less than medium, and add the urad and channa dals. Let them turn golden.
6. Next, add the curry leaves, green chillies, orange or citron pieces, red chilli powder, and salt. Saute briefly, for 2-3 minutes.
7. Raise the heat again to medium high, and add the filtered tamarind water. Bring the mixture to a boil.
8. Cook till the orange pieces are tender, and the liquid is reduced to about half the original amount.
9. Add the powdered jaggery, and keep boiling on low heat for another 3-4 minutes.
10. Remove from heat, cool, and store in a bottle for about 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Serve as a gravy on plain cooked rice; as a pickle with curd rice; as a sandwich spread; as a side for dosai or roti.

Note: Seville oranges are the dry, juice-less, very fragrant oranges used to prepare bitter marmalade. They are tart and bitter, and have not much juice in them. They can be used raw or ripe, as also the other citrus fruits mentioned in this post. The ripe ones that you see in the picture are from my daughter's garden in Arizona.


Vasi maami


  1. Ah, you know what this was really good with? A nice chunk of warm baguette, split lengthwise, smeared with this pachadi on the insides, topped with extra sharp Irish cheddar, fresh arugula leaves, and a sprinkle of salt. Yum!

  2. Nice one again! with the rush of all athais at home right now, missing your presence :D

    when is the next blog update? :)

  3. maami, just awesome.. paathaale naakula jalam oorardhu..

    BTW any idea where we can get the mortar and pestle? am sure the taste coming out of that is greater compared to grinding in the blender.

  4. Dear Deepa, As for a mortar and pestle, I see them available at many Chinese or Korean grocery stores in black granite. I also see the marble ones, smaller, availabel at kitchen specialty stores or Bed, Bath, Beyond. Hope it helps! Good luck!
    Vasi Maami

  5. Nice to get to know ur blog Mami. Looking forward for traditional recipes !! Will add you to the Your dishes will be greatly add to the authentic repertoire that we are maintaining. .

  6. Knock knock -- some activity pls! :-)

  7. My recipe is same as yrs. I prepare this with citrus peel as we dont get naarthangai here. Love this with dosa.

  8. Ah! awesome :) Longtime no updates?

  9. Very nice blog mami. I am going to try some of your recipes today. Thanks so much.

  10. Very nice blog mami. I am going to try some of your recipes today. Thanks so much.

  11. Very nice blog mami. I am going to try some of your recipes today. Thanks so much.

  12. Mami,please blog again! I tried your pidi kozhukattai and it came out perfectly. Suffering from morning sickness, this is one meal i enjoyed after a long time. Thanks !