Saturday, 2 July 2016



One morning, perhaps 4 years ago, when I had just started this blog, my husband plucked a couple of green oranges from a sweet orange bush in our nursery and put them in my hands. While green sweet orange is sour and bitter, the fragrance of its thick peel is indeed bewitching and beats the flavour of any other variety of orange peel that I know of. Its entrancing smell brought forth the idea of creating the green orange date pickle.

I made the pickle, put it in an airtight jar and forgot all about it. As we shifted our residence from the coast to the hills, the jar travelled with us and found its place at the back of a shelf in the storeroom. Yesterday, while rummaging, the jar came out. My husband and I were having Pichpichi Upma for supper. I served him a spoonful of the pickle. Four years of resting had dissolved the pulp of the orange, leaving just the delicious, thick, softened peel. The date pieces too were surprisingly soft and full of the flavour of the orange peel. The sauce had the consistency of thick honey.

As I saw the delightful expressions of sweetness, tanginess and sheer joy come one after the other on my husband’s face, I hunted out my old recipe sketch then and there to share with you this simple, wonderful recipe.


     1)    Green sweet orange – 2 Nos.
     2)    Dates with stones removed – 200 gm.
     3)    Ginger – 1-inch piece
     4)    Hot green chilies – 4 Nos.
     5)    Hot red chili powder – 100 gm.
     6)    Pickle powder – 100 gm.
     7)    Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
     8)    Vinegar – 200 ml.
     9)    Sugar – 300 gm.
     10)     Salt – 200 gm.
     11)     Water – 300 ml.

To make:

Cut the oranges together with the pulp into small pieces and set aside. Peel the ginger and chop to fine bits. Cut each date into two or three pieces. Slit each green chili lengthwise and cut into halves across the centre.

Put the water, the salt and the sugar into a vessel and set on high heat. Stir till the salt and sugar dissolves fully. As it comes to a boil, tip in the orange and the ginger. Let boil for 5 minutes.

Now put in the dates and the chilies. Stir well and tip in the chili powder, the pickle powder and the turmeric powder. Mix nicely for 2 to 3 minutes and pour in half of the vinegar. Stir once and switch off the heat. Cover with a lid and let cool naturally.

Once cool, transfer to a clean, sundried, airtight glass jar. Top up with the rest of the vinegar. Close the lid and store for a couple of months. Remember, old is gold and patience is virtue. If left undisturbed, the pickle will keep for years.
Enjoy the treasure!!!

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