· 1 ½ kg lemons
· 250g green chillies
· 2 litres mustard oil
· ½ cup salt
· 1 cup aniseed (saunf)
· ¼ cup turmeric
· 1 cup nigella seeds (kalonji)
· 1 cup fenugreek seeds
· ½ cup red chilli powder or as per taste
Wash the lemons and pat dry, cut them into halves. Divide the salt into three parts. Place the lemons in a bowl, sprinkle one part of the salt and mix well, cover and leave to marinate overnight.
Next day drain out all the water released by lemons, cover them and leave to marinate for one more day. Wash the green chillies and dry them properly. Slit the chillies carefully into halves, leaving them still held together at the stalk. Place the green chillies in a separate bowl, sprinkle second part of the salt, mix well, cover and leave to marinate for one day along with the lemons.
Next day, gently squeeze out all the water released by the lemons and green chillies, taking care not to squeeze the juice from the lemons. Heat mustard oil to smoking point, remove from heat and leave it to cool. Mix all the ingredients including the third part of the salt, with enough oil just to bind the spices. Stuff the green chillies with half of the spice mixture. Rub the rest of the mixture over lemon pieces to coat them liberally. Place the lemons and chillies in an earthenware jar, mix thoroughly with hands.
Pour in the remaining oil; it should cover the lemons and green chillies by about 2.5 cm (one inch). Cover the jar with a cloth and keep it in an airing place. Stir the contents of the jar for the first two weeks at least once a day. Do this to ensure that all pieces are completely dipped in the oil.