My mother-in-law always mentions about her Sasubai(mother-in-law) … ajjini maathat khade meeth ani limba ashich thevun, gholun kele hote lonche. Diwsa daha-bara vela.. Maath potyavar thevun gholun thevun dyaychya. (Ajji placed the limes with rock salt in a clay pot. She would roll the pot on a hassian cloth 10-12 times during the day). Ajji passed away after a year. I wasn’t married then.
Post my wedding I always admired the huge barni full of this medicinal pickle that she made. The limes were no where green/yellow in colour. They had darkened beyond recognition. The maturing of the pickle in salt gave it a typical sharp taste. I was just lucky to have tasted her culinary skills in this traditional form.
Here is an amazing verse written by a lovely person Suranga Date. Do visit her blog. I see my ajji-in-law smiling at me after reading her verse!
वर्षामागून वर्षे ,
काही सोनेरी दिवस , आणि मग
सैपाकघर, मुलेबाळे, नातेवाईक , सणवार ,
रोजचे आयुष्य , मोठयांचे पथ्य ,
कोणाचे सोवळे-ओवळे , कोणाची नावड ,
सणासुदीचे पदार्थ ,
कडक उन्हातले बेगमीचे पदार्थ,
रोजची दळलेली पिठं ,
छोट्या आणि खूप मोठयांसाठी उकळलेले काढे ,
बनवलेल्या पेजा ,
कोणी कधी बोललेले ऐकणे ,
विसरणे आणि सोडून देणे ,
कधी कधी राग गिळून टाकणे ,
आणि कधी एकटीनेच उशीरा
पटकन करून घेतलेले भाकरीबरोबर तव्यावरचं पिठलं .
आयुष्यात कितीतरी टोचण्या ,
आणि स्वतःचीच समजूत काढून ,
आपल्या आईची शिकवण आठवून ,
मनाला थोडे मीठ लावून ,
सर्व पचायला ओवा शिंपडून ,
मुलांसाठी असलेल्या स्वप्नांच्या लिंबाच्या रसात,
न राहवून रोज स्वयंपाकघर ते पुढचे दार
वाट बघत फिरणे , आणि
ते दिसल्याच्या आनंदात दिवस जाणे .
अशी ही तेजस्वी, मुरलेल्या , थोडी सुरकुतलेल्या
कांतीची घोळ-लिंबू आजी,
आजही आपले सर्व अनुभव, ज्ञान , आणि प्रेम
प्रत्येक लिंबात ठासून भरून,
आपल्यावर कृपादृष्टी ठेऊन अस ते
She comes up with most clever verses one could ever think of. Doesn’t she?! 😊
Now my Aai suggests”Ata ek kar limbana tochun khade mith ani ova bharad takun kar… thoda limbacha ras -ale ras takata ale tar khup chan hote”.
Ghol limbu is a whole lime pickle which is made by pricking the lime and adding coarse salt…traditionally the pickle is made in a maath(earthen pot) which is shaken on a hassian cloth everyday.
The friction between salt and lime allows thr juices out of the limes and pickle is ready when the lime skin softens and darkens.
I have added crushed carom seeds and juice extracted from shredded ginger along with the salt as aai suggested.
Since I haven’t got an access to earthen pot, the pickle is maturing in a normal jar. I had mixed these in December 2015 and now the pickle is ready to eat!
I had tied a soft cloth over the jar and kept shaking every day so that limes had different position each day. I opened the jar only last week. Fingers crossed I have managed not getting any fungus.
In case you are wondering why I haven’t written down the recipe in the usual format.. Let me clarify. This pickle just doesn’t demand any specific proportions of salts, shredded ginger and carom seeds. The whole mixture amalgamates into a great medicinal concoction and is used in treating various ailments! Be it any form of gastric troubles or headaches.. It even helps build appetite and immunity. This is because lime is packed with nutrients, minerals and essential vitamins!! This probably is the reason behind the traditional practice of lime pickle being served in meals.