Turnip, Carrot and Cauliflower Pickle 1, Amma's
Shalgam, Gajar aur Gobhi ka Aachar 1
Kiran Devi Gupta
Note from Mamta; This recipe is from my late mother in-law. It is a seasonal pickle (winter in India), made popular by people from Punjab region of India. The proportion of the vegetables can be varied according to taste, as long as the total weight remains the same. I like turnips best in this pickle so I have turnips as the main vegetable. If your family does not like pickled carrots for example, you can increase cauliflower and omit carrots. Amount of salt, chilli and garam masala can be adjusted according to taste. This pickle will last for a year or longer, provided there is no water left over the vegetables before pickling them.
1 kg. turnips
1/2 kg cauliflower
1/2 kg carrots
2 tsp. black pepper-corns*
1-2 pieces cinnamon or cassia sticks of 1 inch each*
2 bay leaves*
4 black cardamoms, peeled and skins discarded*
40-50 gm. garlic, peeled
40-50 gm. ginger, peeled
15 gm. fresh mint leaves or 2 tbsp. dry mint leaves
250-300 gm. jaggery, grated (dark brown sugar can be used, but jaggery is better)
300 ml. or 1 1/4 cup mustard oil
2-3 heaped tsp. (to taste) chilli powder
80 ml. or 1/3 cup vinegar
3-4 tbsp. salt, adjust to taste
30-35 gm. or 2 heaped tbsp. mustard seeds or Rai, coarsely ground
Prepare vegetables 24 hours before you want to make the pickle; peel, and slice turnips into 1 centimetre thick, bite size pieces. Peel and cut carrots into thick fingers or batons or discs. Cut cauliflower into bite size florets.
Wash vegetables and leave to dry for a few hours on a towel, in hot sun. In cold countries like UK, leave in a warm room for at least 24 hours. A hot conservatory or a sunny window sill is also a good place for this. Spreading vegetables on a towel helps to absorb water. No water should remain, or the pickle will go mouldy very quickly.
*Grind all whole spices marked*, together. This freshly ground Garam Masala always gives better flavour. However, it can be replaced with 2 tbsp. of Garam Masala powder. Keep aside.
Grind ginger, garlic and mint leaves together in a chopper. Keep aside.
Grate jaggery. Fresh jaggery is soft enough to crumble by hand. Keep aside. These days, you can buy ready ground jaggery from many Indian stores.
Heat oil in a wok or karahi to smoking point, cool a little. Now fry garlic, ginger and mint paste on medium heat. If the oil is too hot, the mix will burn and turn bitter. Cook until bubbles die down, meaning all water has evaporated) and there is aroma of fried garlic and ginger. Turn heat off.
Add all the ground spices, ground mustard seeds, salt and chilli powder. Stir-fry for 20 seconds to release the flavour of the spices.
Add jaggery, vinegar and salt. Stir. Jaggery will dissolve quickly in the still hot oil/spice mix.
Allow the mixture to cool.
Place all vegetable in a large bowl and pour the spice mixture over them. Mix thoroughly. Believe me, it is easier to mix these, if you pour the mix over the vegetable, rather than adding vegetables to the mix.
Cool completely and fill in sterilised jars. Cover jars with small pieces of cloth or kitchen paper, held in place with rubber bands.
Leave jars in a sunny window sill or hot sun again. You will find that the vegetables settle down after a day or two, so you may need to transfer pickle from one jar to fill up the rest.
Shake an turn the jar upside down (they must have a tight seal) every day, to ensure even maturing of vegetables. It will be ready to eat in approximately a week.
Also see Pickle and Chutney Selection.
A pinch of sodium benzoate added to pickles, acts as preservative and helps to keep them for longer without getting spoiled.