I was at Hanamasa at the weekend and found a bag of star anise, so I thought I’d grab some limes too and make up a batch of lime pickle.
This recipe makes enough to fill a 500ml preserving jar.
2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
Seeds from 2 star anise
2 dried red chilies, chopped
50g soft brown sugar
1 tbsp ginger paste (fresh is best, but I used stuff from a tube)
1-2 tbsp water
Scrub the limes to get rid of wax and any other crap that’s on them. Cut them into eighths, put them in a bowl, and spread the salt over them. You want to get as much salt as possible on the fleshy parts to draw the juice out. Cover and leave for a day or so.
Put the mustard, fenugreek, star anise, and chopped red chilies in a covered pan and dry roast over a high heat until the seeds start to smoke and burst. Take them off the heat and set aside to cool. Be careful of the smoke from the mustard seeds – that stuff will seriously burn your throat.
Pour the lime juice into a pan. Squeeze the remaining juice out of the limes and add the sugar, water, and ginger. Boil gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved.
Chop the lime skins up into small pieces (taking care not to cut your finger and get lime juice in it like I did) and put them in the preserving jar. Thoroughly mix in the roasted spices, and then add the juice/sugar/ginger mix.
Allow the pickle to cool for a while, and then screw on the lid. Leave for 4-6 weeks before using.
More pictures on Flickr: Lime pickle step-by-step