Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Spicy Punjabi Winter Vegetable (Gobi,Shalgam,Gajar ka Achaar)

Finally - yes, finally - managed to make these two wonderful winter pickles so typical of North India. I have had this Punjabi winter pickle quite a few times after coming to Delhi and loved the crunch of the vegetables in that piquant sweet and spicy mixture. I have been eyeing Anita's recipe for it for some time now and as soon as the fresh winter vegetables started flooding the market and the prices hit rock bottom, I made sure to buy a couple of kilos and get down to pickling before it was too late.

We don't normally enjoy sweet pickles but Anita's recipe is really, really good - not overwhelmingly sweet but just the subtle touch which is needed to offset the warm spices of cardamom and cinnamom added to it. Its almost like a vegetable you can have on the side with practically everything rather than an actual pickle!.
For step by step instructions and the complete recipe - look here in A Mad Tea Party. I used the same proportions but halved the quantities of all ingredients.

In addition to the slightly sweet one, I also made a spicy one based on my neighbour's mother's traditional pickle - Aunty is not doing too well and this is probably the first year she wasn't able to make her pickle and kanji - get well soon Aunty, we are all rooting for you!


 The important thing to remember is to make sure the vegetables are cut into roughly the same sizes and are easy to eat rather than in huge chunks. Also, they should be dried thoroughly before pickling. The spoons you use should be clean and dry and the bottles as well. Moisture can make pickles spoil very soon. The vegetables are usually left out in the winter sun during the dayfor a week or so but since they are anyway enjoyed crunchy it doesn't matter if they don't get "sun cooked". I think the sunning may have been more to ensure that there is no spoilage?

I am sending to this Indrani's event - Spotlight - Winter Vegetables

Spicy Punjabi Winter Vegetable (Gobi,Shalgam,Gajar ka Achaar)

An authentic Punjabi recipe given by Aunty K

Cauliflower, Radish and Carrot - 1 kg totally - about 300gm each of the radish and carrot - 500gms for the cauliflower because the stems will come off.
Red chilli powder - 10gms (about 1 tbsp)
Salt - 30gms (about 2 tbsp)
Mustard Powder - 1 tbsp
Mustard Oil - 2 ladlefuls (about 200ml)

(I also added a tbsp of freshly crushed ginger and garlic which I fried for a minute in a tbsp of the mustard oil before adding to the vegetables)

1.Wash the vegetables thoroughly. Cut the stalks off the cauliflowers. Lightly peel the radish and carrots after chopping off the tops and tails.
2. Cut the carrots into 2" long batons, separate the cauliflower into medium sized florets and cut the radish into slices roughly the size of the carrots.
3. In a large vessel, bring to boil a litre of water and then blanch the cut vegetables for 3 minutes.
4. Drain and then spread on a clean cloth and dry in the sun completely.
5. Combine the mustard powder, salt and chilli powder in a large bowl and then rub onto the dried vegetables. Spoon into a large, clean glass jar.
6. Heat the mustard oil till smoking point and then turn off the flame. Cool slightly and pour into the jar over the vegetables.
7. Close the jar (or cover with muslin cloth) and keep in the sun for 2 days.Shake and mix well.

These are best eaten in a couple of months when the vegetables are still crunchy - serve with paranthas, khichdi, curd rice, dal chawal - actual anything!


Priya said...

Seriously cant take my eyes from ur irresistible click,super tempting pickle.

Sayantani said...

I also made the same but with a different recipe. love it when it retains its crunch. yours look lovely.

Cham said...

Sounds very simple with almost all the ingr. easily accessible here. Very tempting pickle!

Sobha Shyam said...

yummy, fingerlicking pickle..

Indrani said...

Yummy, finger-licking achar, nice clicks..if you want can send it to my ongoing event,
Spotlight - winter vegetable
link: http://riappyayan.blogspot.com/2012/01/announcement-of-my-event-spotlight.html

BongMom said...

If Anita was in the 'hood I would have just robbed some, you know "Yeh Achaar mujhe de de Thakur..." kinda. You are too sweet not to have done that and made your own.

Gorgeous, gorgeous pickle, speaks winter like nothing else

Anonymous said...

Your blog is not only recipes , but some well written introductions, which are a pleasure to read.

This pickle and many other recipes. like Ishtoo, "meat' balls etc were , inspiring to make me try them.


indosungod said...

Delicious. Mine got over way too quickly. I am going to try Spicy Punjabi way soon.

Anita said...

Drop-dead-gorgeous colours on both the pickles- more so in the sweet-sour one because of the deep colour jaggery imparts. So glad you tried it given your reluctance for sweet pickles; it does compliment punjabi food.

I am always surprised how long the pickle stays crisp - almost into the next year when you are ready to make it all over again! The sun-drying helps evaporate some of the water contained in the vegetables and helps them retain their crispness longer.

Come, have some kanji with me - the jar is ready to be served (tonight)!

Poonam Borkar said...

pickle looks super tempting..loved the color..glad to follow u! :)