Thursday, January 25, 2018

Kurumilagu Oorugai - Green Peppercorns in Brine

KURUMILAGU OORUGAI
"Black Gold!" "The King of Spices!" These were the glorious names given to Black Pepper, the most sought after spice from our God's own country. In ancient times the markets of coastal Malabar milled with foreign traders who yearned for this expensive spice. It is not surprising that Black gold or the expensive Pepper was used as currency then. New trade routes called as Spice Routes were developed with the intention of acquiring and monopolizing the trade of the King of spices. A peek into the history of Black gold makes my heart puff up with pride as I crush our own historic spice in a pestle to spice up my every day food. Peppercorns grow in clusters like tiny bunches of grapes on the pepper vines. The ripe green peppercorns are harvested and dried, and sold as black peppercorns which are used as spice. During the season the unripe and fresh green peppercorn clusters available in the market are pickled with lime or preserved in brine. Kurumilagu Oorugai or green peppercorns in brine is a delicacy which is a must in every meal during the season. 
Thanks to Savithri Sumanth for sending the picture of Pepper vine with Peppercorn clusters growing in her garden.


INGREDIENTS

Green peppercorn bunches - 250 gms (about 10 to 12 bunches)
Crystal salt - 1/4 cup
Water - 4 cups
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Juice of four big limes
METHOD
1. Wash the clusters of green peppercorns with stalk intact and spread them out to drain.


2. Once the water is gone pat them dry with a dry towel.
3. Bring water to a rolling boil and add salt and turmeric powder.
4. Switch off after two minutes and allow to cool, and then squeeze in the juice of lime.
5. Place the pepper clusters in a clean dry jar and pour the brine over them till they are fully covered with brine.


6. Cover with a lid and use the Kurumilagu Oorugai after two days.
Enjoy the Kurumilagu Oorugai with Curd rice. Few  peppers removed from the stalk and sprinkled on the salad will lend a sharp and tingling zing to the salad.

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