This recipe was originally published in the June 2012 newsletter. If you’d like a recipe, health tips and interesting links in your mailbox every month, click here for the free sign up.
Recently I found an undated jar of homemade pickled vegetables lurking at the back of the fridge. In the name of health and safely I was about to throw them out but on second thoughts tasted them, only to discover that my Mauritian pickles had matured into an exquisite, buttery delight. These pickles are neither hot nor sweet. Traditionally served with bread and meat, I like them in a wrap with smoked tofu or fish, or accompanying a Southern Indian curry. They are also a handy way to boost the veggie content of a meal.
1/2 green cabbage, finely sliced
1/2 cauliflower, broken into small florets
2 carrots, julienne finely
A generous handful green beans, finely sliced lengthways
180 ml (approx) mustard seed oil (Melrose is good)
3 tablespoons mustard seeds (I use yellow but traditionally black are used)
6 – 8 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1-2 large brown or white onions, finely sliced
1-2 large green chilies, finely sliced
2-3 tablespoons white vinegar
Salt, to taste
With a sharp knife, finely slice the vegetables. Cut them as finely as you have the patience for.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil for blanching the vegetables.
When you have a rolling boil carefully pour in the cauliflower and carrots, return to the boil and cook for another minute before adding the cabbage and beans. Give them a further minute or two on the boil before straining and cooling in ice water. The vegetables should still have some crunch. Cool and strain well.
In a large pot, preferably one with a thick bottom, pour in the mustard oil and add the onion. Cook over a low heat, stirring frequently, until the onions are transparent. Next add the mustard seeds, garlic and turmeric. Give it another stir. Now combine the chili and drained vegetables. You may need to add more oil, the idea is to coat them with the yellow fluid but not make them swim.
Season with salt. Remember that while the spices will mature a bit with time, the saltiness will stay the same.
Allow the vegetables to cool, and then mix in the vinegar.
Sterilise some wide mouth jars (you can do this with a hot wash in dishwasher, or clean them by hand with detergent and water – followed by 20 minutes in a low oven). This will make about 3 – 4 500g jars.
Pack your jars and refrigerate. If the vegetables are coated in oil, they’ll last for many months. Discard if any signs of mould or fermentation.
Take a look at some more of my healthy recipes.