Sweet and sour lemon - Traditional version
Sweet and sour lemon/ Limon aigre doux
For cooking the lemons
20 large lemons
22 tablespoons of coarse salt (gros sel) - (Yes, 22 tablespoons !)
Tons of patience
For sweet and sour sauce preparation
3 big dried chilli (less or more if you prefer)
2 cloves of garlic
600g castor sugar
Note 1: You will need some new and/or used jars to store your limon aigre doux
Note 2: You might believe that the amount of salt is high but this is actually required to neutralise the high acidity in lemons
Step 1: Wash and dry your sealable jars and place about 1 tablespoon of coarse salt (gros sel) at the base. Wash and dry your lemons as well.
Step 2: You need to count it as such: For every lemon you use, you will have to add 1 tablespoon of gros sel to neutralise the acidity of that lemon and "cook" it as well. Cut your lemons as per your preference (circularly, in slices, in stripes etc...). Do not forget to remove the seeds and peduncle.
Step 3 : Alternate layers as such (starting from the base): Gros sel - Lemon slices - Gros sel - Lemon slices.... until you end up with a layer of Gros sel.
Step 4: Repeat same process (step 3) with all the lemon slices and fill the jars accordingly. After that place your jars in direct sunlight to cook for 25-30 days ! I am sure you are very patient enough ..
DAY 3: The coarse salt (gros sel) has already dissolved completely.
DAY 15: Give your jars a good shake ..
DAY 25: Ohlala !
DAY 30: Lemons are ready !
Step 5: Get your jars ready. The jars below have been purchased at "Pacific store" in Port-Louis at Rs30 each
Step 6: Sterilize your jars by immersing them (do not forget the caps) in boiling water for 2 minutes and then placing them on a clean kitchen towel.
Note: Ensure that you use thongs to avoid yourself getting burnt
Step 7: If the honey you are going to use to make this recipe is contained in jars, transfer the honey to a clean bowl, wash the jars and sterilize them as well. This is what we would call "instant recycling"
Step 8: As boiling occurs, the labels (if any) on the jars are going to come out by themselves. Then allow all your sterilized jars to dry !
Step 9: Transfer your lemon slices to a clean bowl
Step 10: In your pan add your honey, chilli, about 20 lemon slices and garlic (sliced thinly) and get your hand mixer !
Step 11: Mix mix mix and when you obtain a uniform mixture, add your sugar
Step 12: Perform a final mix then allow your mixture to cook on a low-medium heat. As soon as it boils, use your timer or clock but ensure that same mixture boils for about 6 minutes. After that allow to cool completely.
Note: The idea of boiling the mixture is to remove all water present as far as possible to ensure a nice consistency of the syrup.
Step 13: After the 6 minutes boiling, transfer your mixture to a clean bowl and allow to cool. This can take some hours but I am very sure you are patient enough
Note: Do not forget to cover your bowl containing your lemon slices with cling film during this cooling time
Step 14: When your mixture has cooled completely (you will see that it has thickened as well), transfer your lemon slices a third of the total amount at a time into the mixture and ensure that they are well mixed.
Step 15: Repeat with the remaining lemon slices (no need to add the salty syrup left in the bowl which contained the lemon slices) and voila, your limon aigre doux is ready !
Step 16: Time for packaging ! Place a cling film on each and every jar and cut at the center like below
Step 17: Fill your jars accordingly and then remove the cling film. See how this trick does the work neatly
Step 18: For a "one-time use" limon aigre doux
Time for decoration !
And those special touches
THANK YOU FOR WATCHING !...