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Vadukapuli Achar

Vadukapuli achar is a tangy kind of Indian pickle made with a variety of citrus fruit which is very juicy, having a high sour level compared to lemon. It is also known as Curry Naaranga or Wild lemon or Citron belonging to the Citrus family.

Vadukapuli achar is very simple to prepare and can be pickled with just salt, green chilly and ginger with other usual ingredients like red chilli powder, fenugreek and mustard seeds. The process of pickling this citrus fruit is very easy by just cutting the fruit into desired size of pieces (usually small pieces), slitting the green chilies, ginger and mix all ingredients along with salt and mix well together and the pickle is ready. Vadukapuli is usually used for making pickle and pachadis.

It tastes like lemon and is much bigger in size than the lime and is very good for health and cleanses the stomach. The ingredients used in preparing this pickle make it spicy and tangy reducing the bitter taste and giving a zest to it. Citron (Citrus medica) is a species of citrus fruit which has a thick rind and small sections.

The tree of this species originally came from South East Asia. Today this variety is mainly grown in Morocco, Sicily, Crete, Corsica and Puerto Rico. The Citron fruit can grow to a size of about 25 cm in length and about 4 kg in weight. The pulp of the fruit is hardly ever used.  The rind is also used in making jam, vegetable oil and perfumes. The citron fruit is slow-growing and typically grown from cuttings that are two to four years old; the tree begins to bear fruit when it is around three years old.

The fruit is oblong in shape, and sometimes as much as six inches in length. Its skin is thick, somewhat hard, fragrant, and covered with protuberances; the pulp is white and sub-acid. In Pliny's time the fruit was never eaten (it began to be used in cooking by the early 2nd century), but its intense perfume was used, penetrating clothes to repel noxious insects Vadukupuli achar is a very popular dish usually served during the traditional Kerala Sadya on Onam.

It is made using vadukapuli naranga, a huge large lemon comparatively very sour and juicy. This pickle tastes best when fresh and will not keep for more than 2 – 3 weeks in the refrigerator. It is also served as a side dish with rice during marriages and other parties in Kerala. Vadukupuli Naranga is a healthy and tasty dish having lots of medicinal values and is good for digestion, hence is served during marriages and feast. A classic pickle tastes exceptionally well with curd rice or dosa.

In South Indian cuisine especially the Tamil and Kerala cuisines, citron is widely used in pickles and preserves. This fruits in Tamil is known as Narthangai which is usually salted and dried to make a preserve. The tender leaves of the plant are often used in conjunction with chili powder and other spices to make a powder, called 'narthellai podi', literally translating to 'powder of citron leaves'. Both narthangai and narthellai podi are usually consumed with 'thayir sadam' (Curd Rice).

For preparing this Vadukapuli achar, firstly cut the Citron to small pieces with stainless steel knife. Also chop ginger and green chilli. Mix all these ingredients together with salt and store in a glass bottle. This can be used after 3 days. After 3 days shake the pickle well and serve with curd rice.

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Indian Pickle are a must in every Indian household. There are a wide variety of pickles that are prepare in India which includes lemon pickle, mango pickle, green chili lemon pickle, garlic pickle, tomato pickle and so on…. There are often served during festival meal or everyday meal.

Great care is taken while making the pickles as they should last at least for a year, hence they select the best ingredients and jar and bottles are washes thoroughly and sun dried for storing the pickles. In Korea, the citron fruit is used to create a syrupy tea (called Yuja cha) where the slices of whole fruit are eaten with the sweet tea.

The fruit is thinly sliced (peel, pith and pulp) and soaked or cooked in honey or sugar to create a chunky syrup. This syrupy candied fruit is mixed with hot water as a fragrant tea, where the fruit at the bottom of the cup is eaten as well. Often preserved in the syrup for the cold months, Yuja tea served as a source of fruit in winter. It is also popular in Taiwan, where it is known as Youzi cha.

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