Dhonepatar Achaar (Cilantro/ coriander leaf pickle)10:46 AM
After two failed drafts and numerous times banging my head on the laptop here I am still looking for what to post next. Well dont get me wrong, its not that I have nothing to post rather my 'To Post' folder is bursting at the seams with more than 80 folders. Yet everytime I sit to write, the noise from the roaring TV and a cranky kid is jumbling up everything. so let's make it short and sweet today.
This recipe belongs to my mother who amongst many other things is an avid gardener. Her winter produce is so good that we hardly have to buy any vegetable apart from the occasional potatoes and garlic. As it is often said that necessity is the mother of invention a few years back she had to invent this recipe to use up the bumper crop of fresh coriander greens. As a family we are big fans of the peppery perky aroma of coriander greens and winter for us is never complete without some freshly ground coriander leaf chutney or dhonepata'r chutney. So she got her clue and made this pickle that is so much like the chutney but has a longer shelf life.
If you like coriander chutney then this recipe is for you, make it relish it, store it for a touch of winter in hot hot summer and if you too have little time in hand then spread some love. Make a big batch and share it too.
Dhonepata'r Achaar (Coriander greens Pickle)
Coriander Greens: 1 kg
Sugar: 1 kg
Tamarind: of a cricket ball size
Vinegar: 1 cup
Green chilies: 12-14
Turmeric: 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds: 25 gms
Panchforon: 1 tsp
Mustard Oil: 300 ml
Pick and wash the Coriander greens. Use the freshest ones. Drain well on a colander and then spread on old clean cloth. Let air dry for 10-15 minutes. Chop and keep aside.
Make a paste of the greens, tamarind, green chillies, salt and vinegar. Use the vinegar to aid in grinding all the ingredients.
Dry roast the Cumin seeds and panchforon on low flame till aromatic (4-5 minutes). Cool and grind.
Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan preferably a non stick one. Let the oil start smoking or the end product will reek of raw mustard oil smell. Carefully pour in the leaf paste. Add sugar and salt. To be on a safer side add less sugar than specified in the recipe and keep adding gradually if you need. Add the turmeric and if needed more chili paste. Its always a good idea to start with less and add later after you taste.
Keep cooking on low flame. It will bubble and splatter a lot so be careful and keep it partially covered. A glass lid comes very handy here.
We generally cook it till it's 3/4 done that is still some natural juice left. Switch off the flame and let everything mingle and soak for 4-5 hours and then we switch it on again and finish the dish. That way you never go wrong. But if you want to finish it in one go, do it.
Once the juices dries up and you see oil bubble from sides you know you are almost done. Cook for a few more minutes with the spice powder mixed in.
Cool and store in sterilized jars.
Store in a cool place.