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Lotus Root Pickle || Lotus Stem Pickle || Thamarai Thandu Urugai

Pickles – The name corresponds to Mango, Lime or Tomato !!!
When I was a little girl, my neighbour, Ammagaaru used to prepare pickle with all vegetables, right from drumstick to potato and still the taste lingers in my memory. The start of summer gets her busy. She starts her planning right from preparation of the storage jars to the purchase of the spices. Jars are washed and dried and the spices get roasted in the heat of the sun. The next is the purchase of the vegetables. She gets the best seasonal vegetables for the pickle.. During this process, the whole house was always filled with aroma of the spices.
Wish she had taught me, though my mother learnt from her, I need to get the recipe… My mother used to prepare pickles, those were limited to mango, lime, tomato and ginger. But now the health conscious as well as health issues sprouted up, so my mother has set her own limits… I do prepare ginger pickle as its one of my favourite accompaniments.

When I bought Lotus root, I needed to think about the other options to cook the root. It has many nutrients and a healthy root to have in our diet. And that was pickle. Why not with Lotus stem? I don’t think there is a recipe for Lotus stem Pickle done in South Indian style and here it is.
I tried out for the very first time, needed to alter and add some ingredients to have a tangy pickle. After doing the experiment handed over to my taste tester’s for review. He said the pickle seemed to be bland without sour taste, so lime or vinegar had to be called into the recipe. Then again experimented, all was perfect.

The lotus stem tastes better as its gets older. The stem stays crunchy absorbing all the taste of the ingredients even after a year.

Lotus Stem/Root Pickle
15 slices Lotus Stem/Root (approximately 200gms)
1tbsp Chilli Flakes
1½ tsp Mustard Seeds Powder
1 Lime or 1tsp of Vinegar
1/3 cup Gingelly Oil
1/2tsp of Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp of Urad dhal
1/8 tsp Asafoetida
7 Curry leaves
1. Clean the Lotus stem thoroughly with water and scrap the outer skin. Cut into thin slices and wipe with a kitchen towel to remove extra moisture. To make sure there is no moisture keep the slices under the sun for 2 hours.
2. In a bowl add lotus slices, Chili flakes, mustard seeds powder and required salt. Mix thoroughly.

3. Cut lime into pieces and add to the lotus stem mixture.
4. Now the tempering part, heat the oil in tempering pan and add mustard seeds. After the mustard seeds splutter, add urad dhal and after it gets roasted, remove from heat. Now add asafetida and curry leaves. After the oil reaches to room temperature add to the lotus stem mixture.
5. Store the pickle in a jar and use after a week.
To prepare Chilli flakes at home, Dry roast red whole chillies and blend to a coarse powder.
If you are storing in room temperature, make sure a layer of oil floats above the pickle or store in a refrigerator.
Keep under the sun once in a while if you not refrigerating the pickle.

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