Chutney was traditionally made as an appetizer to excite the taste bud before and during the meal. The origins of the preserved lemon are in North Africa and the Mediterranean. Then as the lemon trees spread from Morocco to India, so did the need to preserve them, incorporating preserved lemons into a wide range of Middle Eastern and Asian dishes. The lemon chutney has been instrumental in naval history. The Portuguese navigators and sailors were the pioneers in Europe to set across oceans to discover new lands. As the sea voyage was long and arduous, many seamen succumbed to the deadly scurvy disease.
After many years of losing seamen on long voyages, a doctor on one of the long journeys voyages discovered the sailors were dying due to scurvy due to lack of vitamin C. That’s how the sailors started to prepare citrus fruits preserves in salts. Once they arrived in India, these preserves came to be developed into a sorted variety of Chutneys today and how chutney (pickle) saved seamen during the early era of navigating the high seas.
Today, preserved lemons or lemon chutney are widely enjoyed in a variety of cuisines worldwide. They’re used as spreads or starters, or even as sauces and dips, or even a bit of topping on desserts, or some cocktail drinks. Making this isn’t very complex, and you only need two ingredients to pull this off. Learn how to make lemon chutney by reading further below.
Aside from its good vitamin C content, Lemon chutney has been used in traditional medicine in different ways. It is a home remedy for stomach disorders in Ayurvedic cuisine, and its value is said to increase as it matures. Lemon Chutney is used in East African folk medicine to treat the overgrowth of the spleen.
- Spicing for lemon Chutney.
- 10 large lemons
- 3 tbsp salt
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp asafoetida
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 cup sesame oil
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds.
- 1 tbsp fenugreek seeds powder
- Dry roast cumin and fenugreek seeds in skillet and powder in a coffee grinder
Place ten large lemons sliced into two. Stuffed each piece generously with salt. Place lemons into a large glass jar. Leave the jar in direct sunlight for a week.
Shake the jar daily, and you will notice juice collecting at the bottom.
After a week blend, the lemon to a fine grainy consistency set aside
Steps to spice up chutney.
Fry lemon in sesame oil, constantly stirring lemon around until all the skin turns slightly brown, remove from heat, and allow to cool.
Heat sesame oil and fry mustard seeds in another pan until it crackles, then add all other spices and sauté for few more minutes in low heat.
Now add all spices to the lemon paste, thoroughly mix and place into a jar.
Store jar with lemon pickle closed in a dark space for a week to mature before use.