Mamta's Kitchen - A Family Cookbook

Pickled Mediterranean veg

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On 15/11/2020 05:11pm, Kim wrote:

Once vegetables are cooked, pickled and put in a jar, how long will they keep for, I do pickled onions and heat seal them, to his removing the air from the jar, can this be done with the veg???

On 15/11/2020 06:11pm, Mamta wrote:

I don?t know the answer, perhaps someone else here will see your post and reply. You may do better asking on Mamta?s kitchen fb page.


On 15/11/2020 07:11pm, Helen Bach wrote:

Pickled veg can last a long time (years!) but the trick is to use something the Americans call 'pickle crsp'. It is calcium chloride, very similar to salt, and keeps the veg crisp. Without it, the veg will become soft over time.

I use vinegar, salt and pickle crisp, without cooking the veg. and it stays crisp for years. Be careful which salt you use, as some produces a whitish suspension! I use Himalayan salt, which is quite pure, unlike table salt, which has 'additives'.

I know Mamta doesn't like adding 'chemicals', but calcium chloride is much more 'friendly' that salt, going by our prehisory, and as we grow older, we need more calcium in our diet.

I find raw carrots excellent by this method! Also shallots...

On 16/11/2020 09:11am, Mamta wrote:

Hello Helen

That is great, knowing ?what to add and why?. I have been asked this question about western style pickling of vegetables (and fruits) several times before. Although I used to make loads of different Indian pickles, we eat hardly any now as we get old, my pickling knowledge in western pickling is almost nil.

How would you feel about sharing your pickling method for vegetables, with whys and ifs of various additions/techniques, written in a recipe format, and sharing it on this website, with appropriate title and key words, so it comes up under google search? Only if you feel happy about it.

I love your style of explaining things, making them simple, just like my chemist father used to do, telling us the reasons for why we do various things in cooking and preserving.

Best wishes


On 16/11/2020 01:11pm, Helen Bach wrote:

Hello Mamta,

I can't say I'm an expert on pickles; like you, I have made less and less as we 'mature'! But I have had great success recently with the use of calcium chloride (pickle crisp), and can thoroughly recommend it.

The things I have pickled include carrots, baby onions, shallots, lemons, red cabbage, ginger and galangal. I may have tried others, but those are the ones I like (my partner doesn't like vinegar! but does like citrus juices, thankfully!)

Vinegar quality is important, I don't use the industrial offerings, I tend to use either white wine vinegar or cider vinegar. To a pint of that vinegar I add a teaspoonful of calcium chloride and a tablespoon of Himalayan salt. I thoroughly wash firm, clean crisp veg/fruit, then put it straight into the vinegar/brine mix, and store for at least a month.

Most things will keep for a year, but the cabbage can become a little soft, depending on starting condition.

NOTE. Calcium chloride is available in 'food quality'. It is hygroscopic, and absorbs water readily, so store in a glass jar with a non-metal lid, as the chloride ion will corrode the lid. Ensure the lid fits really tightly, else the jar will be filled with very damp crystals, if not puddles of solution!

On 16/11/2020 02:11pm, Helen Bach wrote:

sorry, should have said litre, not pint. (getting old!)

On 16/11/2020 06:11pm, Mamta wrote:

Thank you for that.

If I write it in a recipe format and add it here, will you be willing to edit it and may be, let me have a couple of pictures of your pickled vegetables?

?sorry, should have said litre, not pint. (getting old!)?

Join the club!


On 16/11/2020 09:11pm, Helen Bach wrote:

yes, of course Mamta, anything to help...

But there may be a while before I can snap some pics, as shopping is very difficult for us, at this moment.

On 17/11/2020 06:11am, Mamta wrote:


Same for us. I haven?t stepped inside a shop/supermarket in over six months, getting delivery on line.

No hurry, whenever. I might try to make a small amount, if I can get calcium chloride and Himalayan salt from Sainsbury?s.


On 17/11/2020 11:11pm, Helen Bach wrote:

I bought my H salt from a Turkish grocers that keep most things I want. Calcium chloride available from ebay. Dihydrate is fine for our purpose. Get food grade. ?1.79 for 100g. H salt on ebay seems expensive, so look around.

On 17/11/2020 11:11pm, Helen Bach wrote:

just found some pickled onions which must be 5 years old, and they are still crunchy!

On 18/11/2020 10:11am, Mamta wrote:

A couple of pictures please Helen, that I can use on the recipe, when I get around to it. Didn?t sleep well last night, an unusual occurrence for me, so feeling a little knackered ?

On 18/11/2020 12:11pm, Helen Bach wrote:

OK, have a couple pics of five year old shallots and onions. They are very dark (the pickles, not the pics) but taste wonderful, quite mellow for pickles! How do I get them to you?

I've not been sleeping well for months, might be something to do with the present situation. I'm not a worrier, but I am aware of our mental well being, and how it must be affect by this awful situation.

On 18/11/2020 05:11pm, Mamta wrote:

It is a worrying time, so sleep disturbance is not surprising. I don't sleep well about once every couple of months, but usually am okay so far.

You can me the pictures via the contact link at the top of the page.

Many thanks.


On 19/11/2020 11:11am, Mamta wrote:

Hello Helen

I have written the first draft of your recipe. How can I send it to you for checking/correction?


On 19/11/2020 09:11pm, Helen Bach wrote:

Hello Mamta

Having problems with email. Your 'contact' assumes I am using 'Microsoft software', but my computers do not run any Microsoft apps. I will set up another email application, and we can contact each other via this, if this is OK.

On 20/11/2020 11:11am, Mamta wrote:

I will request Pete to check it out.


On 20/11/2020 01:11pm, Ganders wrote:

It's more that your browser is assuming you're using "Microsoft software"; the contact button is tells your browser that it's an email address.

You should be able to use mamta @ mamtaskitchen . com in whichever email software you use.


On 06/01/2021 07:01pm, Martin Webb wrote:

Hi Helen & Mamta. I've been watching your posts with great interest. Have you anything that can be shared, either recipes or dosing levels?

Kind Regards,


On 07/01/2021 02:01pm, Helen Bach wrote:

hello Martin,

I have tried to contact Mamta recently, but due to a computer malfunction over Christmas, have not been able to make contact. I think I will leave it until we can make contact. Mamta, emails sent to " mamta @ mamtaskitchen . com "

On 07/01/2021 05:01pm, wrote:

Hello Martin and Helen

I have Helens direction for pickling written down in a recipe format for you to check out Helen. My previous attempt at sending it to you to check failed. Once ready, it will take me minutes to post it.

Meanwhile, if you pickle any vegetables Helen, can you please take a few pictures?

Best wishes and happy new year to you both.


On 08/01/2021 03:01pm, Helen Bach wrote:

Hi Mamta,

don't know why you haven't received my emails!

Method generally looks OK. However, my method is very simple:

Choose veg. very carefully, it must be fresh, and without blemish.

Cut into usable sizes, by which I mean slice cabbage, carrots, ginger, lemons into sizes to be used, (do not put cut pickles back into jar!)

If you can, use jars with plastic sealed tops, as found on some coffee jars. They do not corrode, and have the advantage of being able to 'pop off' if there is a gas build up inside the jar (never happened to, but..). Always label jar with date of pickling.

I put cut washed veg./fruit in jar, add spices if appropriate, just cover with vinegar of choice, but do not fill jar completely. Add about a teaspoon of salt (I use Himalayan salt, no additives) and half a teaspoon of calcium chloride (pickle crisp) food grade, to about a pint of vinegar, but it isn't necessary to be too accurate. I leave the jars of pickle in plain sight in the kitchen or utility room so that I can see that things are proceeding well. After a few weeks, they can be stored, a cool room is best. Pickles should be OK for a year (and I have some onions which are 5 years old, and still crisp!

Spices (often seen in supermarket jars of pickles) really don't add much, as most of the 'flavour chemicals' are not water soluble to any extent. Fresh chillies could be used, if slit open.

Things I have tried (and succeeded at!) include onions, red cabbage, carrots (surprisingly good!), lemons (with and without 'pickle crisp', for Moroccan dishes) and ginger rhizome. The latter I use a little red cabbage colouring to give it a Japanese look. Wonderful flavour.

Note [I have not had success with small whole cucumbers using this method. I think they are brined first.]

I add more if I think of anything. Please look for the pic I sent you, I have a few more of recent pickling!

On 09/01/2021 12:01pm, Mamta wrote:

Thanks Helen

I will write all this up when I have some free time and ask you to check it over one more time. Once recipe is on line, I will delete it from here.


On 11/01/2021 06:01am, Mamta wrote:

Hello Helen

Here is your recipe;

How to Pickle Onions and Other Vegetables in Vinegar;

Please let me know if any corrections are required.


On 11/01/2021 12:01pm, Ganders wrote:

On 11/01/2021 03:01pm, Helen Bach wrote:

the recipe looks OK. My only comment is about quantities. This recipe is not a precise one, and neither should it be. To pickle veg./fruit, I wash and cut them into user friendly sized pieces (not too big!) then put them into 1 pint/half litre glass jars with plastic seal lids. I add salt and pickle crisp, and any spices/chillies. Then I cover with a good quality vinegar for most fruit/veg. and maybe clear malt vinegar for small onions. I don't care if I only have half a bottle of veg/fruit, I just cover it with vinegar, so as to be able to add more if/when more is available.

That is all, really. It a recipe (or procedure) that can be done with appropriate veg./fruit left over from preparing a meal, for example. It doesn't need to be an afternoon's work!

One word of warning. Never put veg./fruit back into the jar, and always use a clean spoon or fork to remove the pickled items. Stainless steel or plastic would be good, other materials would not.


On 12/01/2021 05:01pm, Mamta wrote:

Hello Helen

I have added/incorporated all your comments, I think. Please read it again and let me know if I have missed anything.

It usually takes a few attempts to get a recipe right, that is why it is easier to do it via email.

Anyway, here it is again;

Pickled Onions and Other Vegetables in Vinegar


On 13/01/2021 05:01pm, Helen Bach wrote:

Hello Mamta,

the recipe looks fine, I'm only a little confused about amounts.

I don't start by preparing 500g of veg/fruit, but add enough to a jar to either nearly fill it, or enough of what I have (left over from preparing a dish). I usually use half litre jars, but have used 1 litre kilner jars.

In the list of ingredients, you have stipulated 1/2 tsp of pickle crisp (calcium chloride, food grade) per pint/half litre, which is about right, but then state 1 tablespoon of salt, which is more than I would normally use. In the method, this reduces to a tsp, which is more like it (doesn't need to be too exact), and don't mention the pickle crisp, which is added along with the salt, but before the vinegar, so that the salts are washed down into the fruit/veg.

Other than that, I wish you happy pickling. Try the carrot, and the ginger!

On 15/01/2021 02:01pm, Mamta wrote:

Hello Helen

I finally got around to correcting the recipe. It is always a hit and miss, when one is writing a recipe for someone else. That is why I usually do it via email, much quicker. Anyway, thanks for you patience. I think I have finally sorted it out, please take another look;

Pickled Onions and Other Vegetables in Vinegar

I have a few carrots and a 1/4 of cauliflower, so will try to pickle some, if I get a chance!

Look after yourself!


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