Friday, March 12, 2010

Sweet Onion and Lime Pickle

If I could spend my birthday anywhere in Florida, it would be Disney's Animal Kingdom. Really! I'm not a huge fan of theme parks, but it is quite a beautiful place. Two years ago, I decided to take advantage of the free birthday park pass, and this past January my Aunt Dot and Uncle Bob took my husband, Joe, and I as a wedding gift, along with the rest of the family.
On my first visit I was exited to see every attraction, from Asia to Africa. However, it wasn't until my recent trip that I was exposed to the phenomenal food that Animal Kingdom has to offer.
My cousin, Oona, a life-time vegetarian took us to her favorite Tusker House Restaraunt. The exotic buffet here blew us away! As hard-to-impress chefs, Joe and I couldn't believe the variety and fresh flavors they had to offer. But it was at the Kidani Village, a Lodge within Disney where wild animals roamed freely outside our balcony, that I had the absolute best middle eastern bread service I've ever had in my life! A simple handmade naan, in plain and spinach was served with raita, cilantro sauce, and an unforgettable onion and lime pickle.
It was sweet, tart and spicy, the perfect condiment! I savored and analyzed that pickle down to the last bit, in hopes that I could recreate it at home, and here it is!
Or a pretty darn close version of it:

2 sterilized 8 oz. canning jars, lids and rings
3 large sweet onions
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. table salt
4 Persian limes
1/4 Cup light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cinnemon
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
1/8 tsp. ground clove
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
3 swift grates of nutmeg
1 tsp. chili flakes
1/4 Cup lemon juice

Julienne onions, add to a large pan with oil and salt and sweat over medium low heat for one hour, stirring occasionally. In this time zest the limes. You could use a microplane, but I prefer my 5-hole zester, which makes lovely little strands of peel. Now cut off the rind and cut out the segments- this is called the 'supreme'. Squeeze the juice out of what is left of the limes and reserve. Combine spices in a small bowl and check for flavor. This particular pickle was heavy in turmeric and chili, but you can alter it to your taste. Once the onions are cooked out and very broken down, add the brown sugar, lime supremes and spices. Stir constantly until sugar darkens and becomes thick, about 1-2 minutes. Add reserved lime and lemon juice, stir through and turn off heat. Pack into jars following all normal canning procedures and process 10 minutes. Makes about 12 oz., I ate the extra right away.
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*Warning* this is not a tested recipe, but I'm pretty sure the heavy doses of lime juice and lemon juice made it acidic enough to withstand time.


  1. Good job. I'm always jealous at people that can analyze food in a restaurant to recreate it at home!

  2. That sounds great! Sort of like an onion marmalade. Yes? I like it!

  3. I think there could be much debate on whether this is a chutney, marmelade or pickle. But the menu called it a pickle, so that's what I called it, too.

  4. When I am cooking I usually use onion in all my meals because I think it have many properties, antioxidant and vitamin. So i prefer a food that make me feel strong every day. This blog is absolutely interesting. In fact i was looking information about how to buy viagra by internet. But this blog catched my attention, I must to say is wonderful.

  5. I made this yesterday, caught the onion a bit, however otherwise delicious I tripled the ingredients as i had soo many limes. Thank you so much love how you dicect something and make your own as good as this.