Over the years I have become somewhat obsessed with making my own pickles and chutneys. Personally, I think there are few things better than presenting your own pickles at the table when you have a curry feast. For that matter, the best Indian restaurants make their own too rather than relying on those big brand shop bought pickles and chutneys with those oh to familiar flavours.
Pickles are meant to be salty. They are after all a condiment for many different things, from papadums to dosas. The salt and oil also help preserve the pickle. Although I could quite happily snack on this one all day on its own, it should really be eaten with something else. Rice is nice stirred into it. No need to add salt to the rice when you try this popular mixed pickle!
International & UK Orders
- 150g (1 ½ cups) cauliflower – cut into small pieces
- 1 cup aubergine
- 60g carrot – cut into small pieces
- 1 red bell pepper – roughly chopped
- 3 green chillies – thinly sliced
- 1 mango
- 6 cloves garlic
- 3 limes – thoroughly washed
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 3 tbsp chilli powder
- 1 tablespoon ground black mustard seeds
- ½ tsp fenugreek powder
- 3 tbsp flaky sea salt
- FOR THE TARKA
- 125ml (1/2 cup) rapeseed oil
- 2 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 dried Kashmiri chillies – broken into three pieces each
- 10 curry leaves – finely chopped
- Mix all the chopped vegetables, mango and garlic in a glass or clay mixing bowl. Quarter the limes and squeeze as much of the juice out of them as you can over the other ingredients. Heat some water in a pan with a steamer and steam the limes quarters for about 15 minutes to soften them. You can add the steamed lime quarters as they are to the bowl or cut them into even smaller pieces before adding.
- Using a pestle and mortar, one tablespoon of black mustard seed into a course powder. Pour this powder along with the chilli powder, turmeric, fenugreek and salt over the vegetables and fruit in the bowl. Stir well to combine.
- Now in a small frying pan, bring about 3 tablespoons of the oil to a bubble over high heat. Add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, reduce the temperature to medium high and stir in the cumin seeds, Kashmiri chillies and curry leaves. When these become fragrant, pour in the remaining oil, stir well and pour it all over the chopped vegetables.
- Mix really well. The vegetables should be submerged in the oil. If not, add a little more and then cover with cling film. In the summer months, you can place this outside in the sun. In colder months, place it all in a sunny window.
- Leave to ferment for three days, stirring every eight hours or so. Then scoop it all into a sterilized jar (see page xx) with a tight fitting lid. You can taste it now but wait for at least a week if you can. It gets better!
- This pickle will keep in the fridge for at least three months. Make sure that the vegetables are always covered in oil to avoid it going off.