It was May when we last visited the hills. Call it late spring or early summer or amalgamation of both, the weather was pleasant and every bush, every tree was bursting with blossoms. We trekked on leafy lanes and silent alleys that passed through villages and fields.
Somewhere in between, we spotted a cottage with a lemon tree in the side laden with fruit. Some were fallen on the ground.
We collected them and got them home. Some were used to make tangy lemonade while the rest were made into thick chunky marmalade.
Hilly Lemons or Pahari Nimbu as they are locally called, are spindle shaped with thick skin. The fruit is sour. The lemons are popularly used to make pickle. The best thing is that they are organic. No sprays or pesticides are used in cultivation. The peel can be used without any hesitation
Brighten up your breakfast with tangy and chunky marmalade. I used some to bake a Marmalade cake.
Himalayan Lemon Marmalade
- 2 large lemons
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups sugar
You will also need –
Muslin cloth, a sharp knife or kitchen scissors, a steel plate
- Wash the lemons. Wipe them dry. Chop off the edges of the lemons
- Peel the outer skin with a peeler. Take care not to peel too deep.
- Cut the peels into fine shreds. Keep aside.
- Cut lemons in half and then cut into segments. Remove flesh. Remove and collect all the membranes and seeds. Take membranes and seeds in the muslin bag. We will use them to make pectin.
- Take the flesh and shredded peels in a large steel wok. Add water. Place muslin bag on the side. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 15-20 minutes or till the peels become tender. Eat one to test. If it is chewy, cook further add more water if needed.
- Remove the pectin bag and keep it in a bowl. Let it cool. When it is cool enough to handle, squeeze it get pectin. When you’ve collected enough, add pectin to the mixture.
- Add sugar.
- Cook the mixture on medium heat. It will foam up. Keep stirring continuously. Lower the flame if it is foaming up too much.
- After 20-25 minutes of cooking when it begins to thicken, drop some mixture on the steel plate If it Spreads out thinly, it needs to be cooked further. If it sets and wrinkles when pushed with a finger, it is done.
- Sterilise the jars while the marmalade cools. Wash and dry the jars with the lids. Keep them in the oven. Set temperature to 100 degrees and timer to ten minutes.
- Ladle warm jelly into the jars. Leave ¼ inch headspace at the top. Secure the lids.
- Once open, refrigerate.
My tip – The quantity of fruit, water and sugar will be same. If you have 1 cup peels and flesh, then you’ll require 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar.