Adding pungent mustard to hot chiles doesn’t sound as though it should work, but the combination is sublime. A couple of days’ fermenting with some lemon juice and salt really rounds the edges off the chiles and creates a champion worthy of a daily spot on the kitchen table. I like to eat this with soft-boiled eggs first thing in the morning.
Makes a small jar (3–4 ounces)
4 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
3 ounces Indian green chiles (approx. 25)
2 level teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
4 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Crush the mustard seeds with a mortar and pestle until most of the seeds have split in half, then place in a non-reactive bowl (like glass or ceramic). Halve the green chiles and cut into 2-inch pieces, then place in the bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and keep out on the counter, covered with a clean tea towel, for two days, stirring once or twice a day, then transfer to a sterilized jar.
This pickle will keep in the fridge for up to a month. It’s delicious with everything, but especially dal, chapatis, eggs, vegetable subjis, and also in ham sandwiches.