I have always taken pride in my pickles. My belief is that anything that is edible is also ‘pickle-able’ ! I’ve had the pleasure to pickle most of the things that can be accommodated in the refrigerators. Vegetables, meats everything ! The bases of most pickles would be oils, brine and vinegar but there are some vegetables that can be pickled standalone, merely by salting, take for example lemon. This pickle here is what many households would call as grandma’s favorite. I have been a big fan of this since my childhood. Large ceramic jars filled with Gajar Shalgam Gobhi pickle have more or less of a permanent fixture at my place. It is a kid’s favorite too since it carries an amazing yummy sweet sour flavor and doesn’t pinch the throat a bit. In fact, preparing this pickle is more of a family day in the kitchen due to it’s heavy engagement and preparation time. Read on and enjoy for months to come if you decide to prepare this one !!
…need to know (food details)
- Number of people served : 1 jar to last 6 months or as fast as your appetite can spare it 🙂
- Preparation time : 60 minutes preparation + 45 minutes cooking
- Serving size : I can eat 1/4th of a small bowl with a meal 🙂
….and we need (ingredients)
- Cauliflower florets, 1 kg : I would introduce cauliflower as an undergraduate cousin of the post graduated broccoli. Cauliflower is a very nutritious vegetable which helps fight cancer, heart diseases, inflammation & excessive weight.
- Carrots, 1 kg : Carrots are high source of iron and anti oxidants and have sweet and earthy flavor.
- Turnips, 1 kg : Turnips are amazingly sweet roots. In fact I use their leaves in my kitchen too. But if you allow them to grow larger, they become hard and bitter. A good size would be that of a cricket ball. Turnips are also one of the healthiest foods on earth. It has good amount of fiber, minerals like iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium , potassium omega 3 fatty acids, proteins, K, A C, E and B complex. That’s a big load of wonders 🙂
- White Vinegar, 750 ml : Vinegar preserves the flavors in my dishes very well, so I don’t mind frequenting it. Prime reason for it’s preservative qualities are the amounts of acetic acid and anti bacterial present in it. And yes of course, the sour essence is brought out very well with vinegar. It is an amazing preservative.
- Nigella, 1 teaspoon : It’s called kalonji in Indian kitchens and is packed with antibacterials, antioxidants, anti inflammatory. It has a slight bitter, onion like flavor.
- Fenugreek seeds, 60 grams : Mildly sweet and nutty and very earthy, fenugreek controls cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels and hunger control. In India we generally use the leaves as a veggie but lesser kitchens in India would not have the dried seeds as well.
- Peppercorns, 60 grams : Pepper aids respiration and digestion. It is also an antibacterial, anti oxidant and improves skin texture. They have the obvious mild fiery flavor.
- Cumin seeds, 60 grams : Cumin has the classical earthy and nutty essence. Cumin is also extremely popular due to it’s aid to digestion, immune system, respiratory system and being a source of iron.
- Black Cardamom seeds, 12 grams : This is a bigger cousin of green cardamom. The pods have a fragrance which is more earthy and taste which is less sweet that the green variety. It is great in fighting cold and improves respiration hence aiding in asthma. It is good for hair, skin too.
- Mustard seeds, 120 grams :Mustard tastes from sweet to sour, bitter to steaming hot. But it’s great for digestion and respiration and strengthens bones and teeth. I use it here for the bitter sour essence.
- Fennel seeds, 2 tablespoon : Fennel is amazingly sweet perfumed and tastes so much like licorice that it is a widely used breath freshener in India. Fennel has amazing benefits like maintaining bone & skin health and aiding digestion.
- Red Chili powder, 2 tablespoon : Dried red chilies have a sharper, earthier essence then the fresh green ones. They are a good source of Vitamin C, A and E hence beneficial for skin and hair.
- Cinnamon, 2 inch stick : Again an amazing sweet taste and flavor enhancer, cinnamon is also an anti oxidant, anti inflammatory and sugar controlling ingredient. I replace my sugar with cinnamon often.
- Cloves, 18 : Cloves is extremely beneficial for it being anti cancer, anti diabetic, pain killing and breath cleansing properties. It has a distinct pungent, bitter essence.
- Turmeric powder, 2 tablespoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the pickle here. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory.
- Salt, 300 grams : I used regular table salt here. It is treated in labs and hence helps as a good preservative to the pickle.
- Jaggery, 1.5 kg : Jaggery is an amazing anti oxidant and helps the body fight against infections. It is like a buttery liquid sugar and is good to mix in food in powder or liquid forms.
- Mustard oil, 800 grams : This extremely pungent oil is a great source of Omega 3 and Vitamin E hence great for your skin and hair. Besides in kitchen, mustard oil is the most popular oil across the globe for body and hair massages.
….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)
- Wash and chop all the vegetables. The cauliflowers need to be chopped into 1 inch thick florets, the carrots into 1 & 1/2 inch sticks with 5 mm thickness and turnips into 1 inch cubes.
- Blanch all these veggies and set under a fan to dry. Traditionally, we spread it over a muslin cloth or a newspaper either under the sun or under a fan and leave to dry for a full sunny day.
- While the vegetables are drying, there is sufficient work at hand. Read on
- Grind and blend the ginger and garlic into a crude paste.
- Now heat the oil in a skillet and saute the ginger garlic paste for 5 minutes on medium flame.
- Meanwhile grind the dry spices (Nigella, Fenugreek, Turmeric, Peppercorns, Cumin, Cardamom, Mustard, Fennel, Cinnamon and Cloves). It wouldn’t be a bad idea to mildly roast the mixture before grinding. Crispier spice mix would grind easily. Grinding well is important else the spices might give an unpleasant chewing experience later.
- Now add this spice mix in the skillet where the mustard oil and the ginger garlic awaits. Saute’ this for 5 minutes.
- Add the red chili powder and salt and saute’ for 3 minutes further. Then set the skillet aside to cool.
- While this cools, take another skillet and pour the vinegar into it. Heat and set the flame on medium. Gradually add pieces of jaggery (or the powder if you have chosen such) in this hot vinegar and stir constantly till the jaggery completely dissolves in the solution.
- By now the veggies should have dried properly. So mix the veggies, the spiced oil and the jaggery vinegar solution well.
- Bottle this up in large jars and close the lid tightly.
- Show this pickle jar a lot of sunshine for a week to 10 days and be ready to see happy faces for months to come 😀
Storage : 12 months shelf life provided that you avoid moisture !
Missing Something ? : Did I actually miss any spice in your Indian kitchen, let me know and we can discuss whether you can add that too 😀 . You can add thin cuts of raw turmeric or ginger as additional ingredients.