Friday, March 15, 2013

Spicy pickled veggies

Pickle making is a fancy fair in India. I remember when my mother would see the first crop of raw mangoes hit the street veggie vendors, she would plan elaborately. Spotless green mangoes, washed and wiped clean, cut with the cleanest of knives with precision and then bottled into big mustard and cream pickle jar and during the process, we were told to stay away from the  kitchen and keep our filthy hands to ourselves for fear of soiling the 'batch' of pickle. The mouth of the jar always tied with a cloth and the lid would go on it, it would be kept in a warm draft free area of the kitchen.  God forbid, a batch was ever spoilt, the blame would almost always be on me...I was often seen lurking in the kitchen, in the late afternoons and when I did not have any business in there, so there was no one else to point fingers at. I don't think I have ever dug my finger into the pickle jar ...hmm maybe just once or twice ;) 

Most of the oil based pickles do not need refrigeration and takes anywhere form a month to three to mature, some of the brine based pickles are long-term too and does not need refrigeration. However the instant pickles like this one only needs 24 hours to ferment and needs refrigeration after 24 hours and can last only for a couple of months. 

Picking has gone through an evolution with time....apparently we have traded off good old fashion taste and natural pickling resulting in healthy micro nutrients in the pickles to a longer shelf life and pickles that have more preservatives than nutrients. Traditionally instant pickles like this one was fermented in basic whey (tie kefir yogurt in a cheesecloth, the water from the yogurt is whey) or just salt with some acid like lemon or vinegar ( acid often helps in preventing spoilage) thus, resulting in better taste and full of micro nutrients but a very short shelf life and  of-course a need for refrigeration. However, most of the pickles that we buy has been pasteurized for longer shelf life. 

It's hard for me to stop myself from sharing all the nerd facts about fermentation...from all the books I have read ....did you not notice the halo around me!! 



This recipe is given to me by my sister - Thanks Ditu !

2 cups finely chopped veggies of your choice ( if you want the bright color pick beet)
my pick

1/2 beet
2 onion
small piece ginger
1  carrots
1 cucumber
1-2 jalapeƱo

1 cup vinegar or lemon juice, I used vinegar.
2 - tbsp sugar
3- 4 tsp salt  (1/2 tsp for every quart of vegetable to be fermented)

The reason I say 3-4 tsp salt, sometimes with vinegar the brine can become a bit too salty, so taste before you add. Remember that there is some amount of brine that will be drawn from the vegetables too.

Warm the vinegar a bit, add the salt and sugar, let it cool completely. Add the shredded Vegetables. Keep in airtight container for about 24 hours. Good to use the next day, refrigerate immediately.

Don't you just love the colors...! It's spicy tangy and a whee bit sweet...perfect for sandwich or a roll or just as a snack on a cracker too...ya ! we are crazy :)) Btw, you get this color only after 24 hours and the color does get richer over time.

This is how the colors look before fermentation.

Well, about the rest of the story ...!! A couple of week back, I went to attend the International home and Housewares show- Chicago, had a LOT of fun and saw some awesome products and met some interesting people. Am glad....nothing there was for retail sale...reason : the pictures are self explanatory....I wanted ALL of this !!



Imagine.....these will make such cute props !! I think there is so no doubt that I am becoming a prop junkie and am loving it.  Have a wonderful weekend! Chao for now !

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18 comments:

  1. Seriously I am drooling,looks so yummy

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  2. We have been planning to make this for the longest time this winter! Your post just reminded me again! :-)

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  3. I bet that was a great show to attend!! Love the pickled veggies - such beautiful colors.

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  4. Hi Simi. Thanks for visiting my site and leaving your comments there. A treat for me when I popped in here. Simply loved your beetroot pickle. And the photographs are perfect. Following your space...

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  5. Loved the pickled veggies! so tempting

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  6. the clicks are so good and pickle looks delicious too.

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  7. Such vibrant colours of the pickles... ohh those kitchen and bakeware.. sigh the less said the better!

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  8. The deep pink pickles look captivating & attractive. And the wares on display at Chicago look irresistible. We still make conventional pickles at home & store them in conventional jars & they last as much as a couple of years. And taste as awesome after 2 years. Have a great week end.

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  9. Those pickled veggies look so delicious! Lovely!

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  10. loved the colors in the pickle. am new to your blog. you have a nice space and colorful pics.

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  11. Lovely pink! The pickle sounds amazing.

    Puja

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  12. That looks superb and delicious. I would love this healthy dish for my event @ my blog. Please do send it.

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  13. U have a wonderful space dear. loved wadding thru them... And the pickle looks mind blowing :D Awesome colours !!

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  14. I was wowed by this pic in Food gawker..beautiful pics and pickle looks superb :)

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  15. Scrumptious! I am a big fan of pickled veggies.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  16. Yum all the way. My fav because I have this high liking for sour food. Need to make for our palates.

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  17. I'm a prop junkie too! It's getting out of control :D

    And I love pickles way too much!

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  18. This pickle caught my eye coz i recently made something that looks like this (but is a little different)
    But i love pickled food and the colour and combination here is super...Am planning to make it :)

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Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to browse. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. Hope you enjoy your stay :))

hugs!
simi

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