Monday, June 17, 2013

Preserved Lemons

A Moroccan  condiment, used in meats, salads, Pilafs etc.   I had seen preserved lemon being mentioned a lot on television cookery shows. I was intrigued and wanted to try making these at home. Searched the net , went through several recipes , understood the basic procedure involved. Below is the account of how I successfully made my first batch of preserved lemons. Choose the lemons carefully. They should be bright yellow, thin skinned and without any blemishes.




Ingredients: 

Lemons                                                  6
Sea salt                                                 1/2 cup
Lemon juice                                          1/2cup freshly squeezed.
Wide mouth glass bottle with plastic lid   1

Method:
  1. Scrub and wash lemons properly.
  2. Leave them on a clean kitchen towel to dry.
  3. Cut off a small round portion from the stem end so that the lemon can sit properly.
  4. From the other end make an incision right up to the base but not cutting it through.
  5. Make another incision at ninety degrees. So now you have a lemon with four slices joined at one end.
  6. Repeat the process with the remaining lemons.
  7. Sprinkle a 1 " layer of salt in the bottle.
  8. Slightly open up a lemon and fill it generously with salt.
  9. Keep it in the bottle with the cut side down. Press it hard to release juice.
  10. Repeat this process with the remaining lemons.
  11. Chances are the you may not be able to fit in all the lemons in the bottle.
  12. Don't worry you can fit the remaining the next day, coz by next day the lemons in the bottle would soften slightly and  you can push in the rest.
  13. Sprinkle  some more salt on top, say a tbsp.
  14. Pour freshly squeezed lemon juice to cover all the lemons. Use lemon juice judiciously. Don't pour all the once. If the lemons are juicy you may not need all of it and if they are not you may need more than mentioned.
  15. Tighten the lid and keep it in a dark cupboard . 
  16. Shake the bottle every day for first few days. Try to push the lemons to create space for the remaining lemons if any.
  17. Then shake it once in a while.
  18. In a month or month and a half the lemons would have turned soft.
  19. They are now ready to be used. You can continue to preserve them further if you like. 
  20. To stop further preservation keep them in the refrigerator . They will stay good for several months.

To use : remove as much as you want . Wash thoroughly. Remove the pulp and use the rind. But l like  to use it without removing the pulp.