Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My current favorite exotic ingredient

Right now it’s Swad Lime Pickle Hot, an Indian condiment that I buy at the ethnic market. Love the slogan -- takes you back home. 

Here's the lime part.

There's also a lot of pulp.

It also comes in a sweet variety, I discover from checking online sources, but that one's not at my grocery.  Indians use "pickle" to describe any concoction of vegetable or fruit with garlic, vinegar and spices.  I also enjoy eggplant pickle but this is something special.

It’s seriously hot – this much on a piece of bread

had me gasping (but I’m a wimp about spicy food, so maybe you would like more). When I just need a little oomph in a hurry, I scoop out the seedy pulp to apply to the food. You don't get much lime flavor that way, just heat, so with a little more leisure I will cut up the pieces of lime and use them too.

I continue to be surprised at the situations where lime pickle improves what I'm fixing.  For instance:

-- Spread a little on the inside of the bread when you make grilled cheese sandwiches (see above -- this is how much I use).
-- Put it in the Cuisinart with cream cheese, or cream cheese plus ricotta, to make a dip or sandwich filling. Especially nice on a fruit bread with a slice of cucumber for crunch.
-- Stir it into a soup or sauce that seems a little bland.
-- Use it on bread instead of butter.
-- Spread it on a waffle before you melt cheese over the top.
-- Add to a stew, especially one with an Asian leaning.
-- Stir it into tomato juice (vodka optional).
-- Put a little onto a slice of fresh pineapple.

I’m not a hot sauce aficionada but I bet it would work well anywhere you use Tabasco – eggs, oysters, your choice.


  1. I really like the premise for your food blog:

    "My approach to meal preparation is something like my approach to fiber art – start with some ingredients and a general plan, then use your good judgment and improvise. I have lots of cookbooks, one or two of which I actually consult, but mainly I cook by instinct."

    Me too on both. :) I'll have to find myself a jar of that Indian Lime pickle. I bet it would be good to include in a batch of whatchagot soup. Which often does include zuchetta - our farmers market sometimes has it! Thanks for the source on the seeds.

  2. I am so delighted -- this blog has turned up not one but two people who know about zucchetta! Previously I only knew about my friend who turned us on to this variety. I have never seen it at a market so you're obviously in a more sophisticated food climate than we are.