Nimbekayyi Uppinakayyi (Lime pickles – hot) Courtesy: K.Raghunandana

This is one of the most common items, often bought from stores. It is also easy to make at
home, though a bit slow. For those who need the *homely* taste and also those who have
kids etc here is the recipe which *does not* use oil and can give the Khaara
(hot/eravu/teekha) to your taste.
Cut 25 fresh limes (must be semi-ripe at best, but preferably on the green side)and put them
in a large mouthed jar/vessel which has a cover. It is necessary to wash and dry lime and
also this jar/vessel thoroughly, before starting. While putting the cut pieces, sprinkle salt as
you put the pieces layer by layer. Also, after putting salt on each layer, cut a lemon,
squeeze its juice uniformly. For about 25 limes the juice of 5 limes must be sufficient. After
a day, turn itaround with a clean spoon (it is better this turn-around is done daily).
The next day, cut pieces of Haagalakaayi (Karela, pavakkai), to almost 1 cm squares and
put them along. You can also cut and put Maavinakai shunti (mango flavoured ginger),
green chilies cut to 1cm length, or chopped green-beans if you wish. Remember to trun it
around daily, add a small pinch of turmeric (arishina/haldi). The turmeric added must be
really minimum, but is necessary as a preservative. Remember to sprinkle a little salt after
putting vegetables. It must be mentioned that the whole of this paragraph is an option, many
do not like adding anything to the lime pickles, which in its own right, has fine taste.
After 15 days, take a handful of Menthya (methi seeds) dry fry them along with a small
teaspoon-ful of mustard and hing. After it is cooled, grind them well in a dry grinder and
add red chili powder to taste. Then mix it and add these to the well turned, salted limes
(with/without vegetables etc). Turn it around.
After another week of turning around, the pickle will be ready for use. Now take it out and
put it into bottles of convenient size. Any additional salt, hing, chili powder etc., can be
added before bottling them. After bottling, ensure that it settles, leaving the red pasty layer
on top (i.e the cut pieces should stay submerged). The juice squeezed in initially, decides
the amount of pasty layer. For those who like the uppinakaayi rasa (this pasty-tasty part) a
liberal amount of squeezed juice is advised, but it will also need a proportionally
additional amount of salt to taste. While using, ensure that you use a dry spoon, remember
to keep the mouth of the bottle clean and closed after use. It is not necessary to refrigerate
the pickles but these days most people do, more as a precautionary step.
It is important to wash and clean and dry everything thoroughly. Any trace of water reduces
the shelf life, so it better to take extra care in doing the whole process in a clean,
systematic way. Once done, the pickles easily last well over an year. For children and
those who need less of chili, the chili proportion can be reduced. A favourite with curd
rice, the lime pickle goes equally well with dose’ (dosa), idli, bread toast or for that matter
anything that needs a spicy-tasty side-dish.
P.S: For a good reddish colour the powder from Byadagi menashinakayi (red chili from
Byaadagi, North Karnataka), is used. This may not always be available. It is good to
remember that Byadagi chili gives good colour but has less khara (teekha/eravu). Any chili
powder basically does the job, colour is just a matter of aesthetics and has very little to do
with the taste of the pickle.

One thought on “Nimbekayyi Uppinakayyi (Lime pickles – hot) Courtesy: K.Raghunandana”

  1. Hi,

    I am looking for a Green Chilly Pickle recipe, preferbly Goan.
    Can you help please ?

    Thank you.

    Steve Hawes.

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