After making Japanese gari ginger pickle, I was left with quite a few offcuts that were difficult to slice into thin enough strips, without the loss of my fingertips. Fortunately, I’d come prepared with maybe the world’s simplest recipe for adrak ka achaar, which you can easily make while waiting for the gari to cool. (You could also brew up a quick cup of ginger tea if you prefer.)
There are an enormous number of recipes for adrak ka achaar, using a wide range of spices and other ingredients, but this one really cuts things down to only the main items – ginger, naturally, plus lemon juice and salt – and adds a little lime and honey for a fuller flavor. It’s fairly stripped down but works surprisingly well, particularly when you can’t get your hands on spices like hing and fenugreek.
• 1 cup of fresh ginger
• Juice of one lemon
• Juice of half a lime
• 1 teaspoon of salt
• 1 teaspoon of honey
1. Place the lemon juice, lime juice, salt and honey into a medium-sized airtight glass container and quickly mix everything together with a fork. The salt and honey won’t immediately dissolve but that isn’t a problem.
2. Roughly slice the fresh ginger into smallish pieces, depending on how chunky you like your pickle, and place it in the container with the liquid.
3. Screw on the lid and shake the container for a few seconds to make sure the ginger is well coated.
4. Place the container in the fridge and wait for at least one hour. While the pickle is basically ready to eat in an hour, the flavor improves considerably after two or three days.
The mix of lemon and lime juice may seem quite acidic – in fact it is – but it actually creates an alkaline reaction in the body. These and other citrus fruits are useful for promoting a healthy acid-alkaline balance and are great for adding to drinking water. Also, don’t be concerned if the ginger turns slightly pink around the edges. This is just a reaction to the lemon and lime juice.