Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lime Salt-Cured Pickle (Limbiya Kanchi) - II

Every year during summer I love making my little batch of Pickle at home. I made this Konkani style of pickling Lime and Lemon known as Limbiya Kanchi (pronounced as kan-chee). If you ask me why its called Kanchi, I would say I have no idea. My take on this is may be on olden days when resources were scarce, the depleting spices and fruits were all meshed together to create this wonderful version of Konkani style of non-masala Pickles all at the liberty of your home and hearth.
I followed my Mother's recipe since her precision & measurements of spices and condiments is well known in our family. She easily knows 10+ varieties of home made Pickle varieties. The only change I made is I added a good measure of Turmeric for color and preservative properties. Store in traditonal porcelain containers called as Bharnee if you have one, cover with a lid and tie the mouth with a muslin cloth and push in a cosy corner of the kitchen. Well, that's how my mother and grandmother made pickle batches and preserved them. Else, always store them in non-reactive glass jars. They stay longer and the acidic content does not corrode the walls of the container. This method of salt-curing Lime is stored and given to kids/ adults especially when they have low appetite and/or are sick. I prefer eating them with Paej or Paez (parboiled brown rice).

Few Konkani varieties of Pickle(s) (with Konkani names) are:

1. Kanchi - Salt + Ginger-Green Chillies with no spice powders, very less liquor.
2. Adgai - Black hued, classic combination of Raw Mangoes with Raw Green Jackfruit with fried Red Chilli (Byadgi_ powder added to give the rich black color, medium liquor.
3. Kotla or Kochla or Hindee Nonche - Grated Raw Mango pieces mixed with spice powder, no liquor hence dry textured pickle.
4. Koot - Mostly made with pre-sauted Yam, is thick with dark hued pickle liquor. Made for weddings to be specific.
5. Murabba - Sweet pickle made with Mangoes (similar to Marmalade). Some also treat it as a jam or spread for breads of choice.
6. Randekayee Nonche - A very popular mixed vegetable pickle made of Ivy Gourd, Cauliflower, Chillies and Lime with Red colored pickle liquor.
7. Whole Mango Pickle or Bharlele Tor - This is mostly made in Goan regions (Tor = Raw Mangoes in Goan Konkani), whole Mango pieces are stuffed with spice powder, tied with a string and stored in porcelain jars topped with lot of warm oil for pickling for 4-6 months. Occassional shake or stir recommended with clean hands.
8. Pitte Nonche - In this one, the vegetable of choice is mixed with spice powder (dry and no water) and left for pickling. We make numerous pickle with Lime, Lemon, Bilimbi, Raw Green Mangoes, Dhodle (do not know the english name for this fruit) with this approach.
9. Karmbi - This is a very age-old way of salt-curing Raw Green Mango pieces in salt water brine. Throw in some chillies if you wish to.
10. Pacchadi - This is a fairly simple way of finely chopping raw mangoes and treating them with green chillies and a generous hand of asafoetida which renders a very unique taste and flavour. This is served in temples as ritual prasadam during summer season when Raw Mangoes are available in abundance. Some even complement it with coconut paste to enhance the flavour.
11. Ambuli Nonchey (Simple Raw Green Mango pickle) - Red colored pickle liquor, tastes great with abundance addition of gummy Hing.

This version of pickle is different from the conventional pickle. It has no spice powders and is very kid friendly. This pickle is a big hit with kids in our family since it has just the right amount of spice for a tiny tot's palate. If desired, remove chillies while serving kids. We had huge batch of this tangy treat at home while growing up, so it was easy on the palate and we could enjoy our own version of kid friendly pickles at home. It takes around 2-3 weeks for the complete batch to get pickled and more if the weather does not permit so patience is a must. With little effort, I was glad I could make this at home once again.

Processing time: 2-3 weeks
Preparation time: 20 minutes

Lime - 5 (large ones)
Green Chillies (chopped) - 10
Ginger (finely chopped into bits) - 1/2 cup
Salt - 5-6 tablespoon ~ tweak as required
Turmeric powder (optional) - 1/2 teaspoon

Contraption/ Container - A sparkling clean glass jar or any non-reactive container

Wash the Lime thoroughly to remove any traces of bees wax coating. Use a cleaning kitchen brush if required. Wipe dry with a clean cloth and leave on a kitchen towel to dry for some time. Once moisture is gone and Lime is totally dry, chop the Lime into bite sized pieces. Transfer to a clean glass jar. Mix in the green chillies and ginger (both chopped). I layer them in the order of Lime-Ginger-Green Chillies-Salt and so on. Stir well and leave in a cool dry place to pickle for 2 weeks. Once every two days, give a gentle stir with a clean spoon at night and leave aside. It took around 2 and 1/2 weeks for me to get the Lime pieces, Chilli pieces and Ginger pieces to pickle. Once done, store in fridge if you stay in hot terrains or you could leave them out in a dry cool place if the temperature is cool, less damp and non-humid. The shelf life for this recipe is a year or two without any signs of moulds and fungus if you store it well. The older the life of of Kanchi, the wholesome the flavours. Recommend to begin using Kanchi after 3-4 months of pickling for a wholesome taste.

Extra tips for Pickle at home -
- Keep water, dampness at bay while making pickle. Even a small amount of moisture can ruin the whole batch.
- Pick good quality juicy Lime or Lemon for great tasting pickle.
- Preferably use a glass container since its non-reactive, the citric acid does not breakdown or corrode the container.
- Never compromise on salt, less salty your pickle gets ruined. Fresh batch of Pickle would always taste salty.
- Leave the Pickle undisturbed during the whole period of pickling. Store in cool, dry place.


  1. Delicious lime pickle..looks so good!

  2. Aswini... its been long time i visited here....
    Nd I too made kanchi last week...but my amma told to make hot water(lil) and add salt to it and then add the lime n rest of it in tht... bcoz when i had made it this way long bac it got spoilt fast.... :( I love it especially when ur tongue is out of taste...:)

  3. @ Parita - Thanks. The color was way to dull, so added Turmeric to pep the hue. :)

    @ Aps - Thanks. Glad to know that you made Kanchi. I fried them without oil to get rid of moisture. The are great when you are sick and need some real flavours to soothe your taste buds. Thanks for sharing this tip, indeed helpful.


I appreciate any comment and would love to hear from you. Trust you enjoy my blog.