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


  1. Wash the lemons. Wipe them dry. Chop off the edges of the lemons
  2. Peel the outer skin with a peeler. Take care not to peel too deep.
  3. Cut the peels into fine shreds. Keep aside.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Add sugar.
  8. Cook the mixture on medium heat. It will foam up. Keep stirring continuously. Lower the flame if it is foaming up too much.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Ladle warm jelly into the jars. Leave ¼ inch headspace at the top. Secure the lids.
  12. 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.

It has been raining incessantly. The rain is falling heavily.  The sound is metallic when it falls on the car shed, it whispers when it passes through the trees. It sounds like strains of some musical instrument when it falls on our pond. The rise and fall of the wind speed gives rhythm to the sonorous music. The leaves seem to be studded with jewels with water droplets sitting on them.

We spot a Scaly Breasted Munia enjoying the rain.

Later in the day, it clears up. Sun shines through the clouds and butterflies begin to emerge from the bushes.

There is a lot of hullabaloo in the kitchen. We are making breadsticks. The dough is being rolled to be braided. Kids are trying their hand at braiding. Younger one makes fat braids while the elder one braids tightly. Soon the baking tray goes inside the oven and the yeasty aroma fills up the nooks and crannies of our home.

In the evening it begins to rain again and we enjoy our crisp breadsticks with thick tomato soup.

Braided Herbed Breadsticks


  • ¾  cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Italian spice mix
  • 1 tablespoon mixed dry herbs
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or any neutral oil


  1. Mix together first three ingredients. Cover and keep for 10 minutes. The mixture will turn frothy.
  2. Whisk together remaining ingredients.
  3. Add to the yeast mixture and stir till well combined.
  4. Empty dough on a floured counter and knead for 5-6 minutes till it becomes soft, supple and elastic.
  5. Transfer dough to a greased bowl. Turn around once to coat it with oil evenly.  Cover and keep for an hour or until doubled.
  6. Punch the dough and divide into two. Roll the first piece into a circle of about 12 inches in diameter.
  7. Cut 24 strips. Roll three strips one by one, at a time. Pinch the ends together and make a tight braid.
  8. Tuck in the edges on both the sides.
  9. Prepare all the bread sticks this way and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  10. Repeat with the other piece of dough
  11. Cover and keep for 20 to 25 minutes or until doubled. Preheat oven at 180 degrees C.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
  13. Cool on the rack.

Linking to Bread Bakers-

This month's Bread Baker's theme is Braided Breads and is hosted by Gayathri Kumar of Gayathri's Cook Spot   
Gayathri's blog has a lovely collection of eggless bakes. Thank You Gayathri for choosing the 
wonderful theme
Here is the collection of all the beautiful braided breads from our team.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to [email protected].


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