Instant Carrot and Ginger Pickle

I love pickles. They have the power to make even the laziest of meals more appetizing. This one is made with carrots and ginger. It’s hot, sour and sweet all at the same time and it is a favourite.

Things you will need:

  • Carrots- 3 medium to large sized, cut into two inch long wedges. See picture above.
  • Ginger- 2 inch piece, julienned. Even slightly thicker bits work if you like the bite of nice fresh ginger. Works very well in this pickle. See picture above.
  • Fresh green chillies- 6-7 finely chopped
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder- 3 heaped tablespoons
  • White vinegar- a little less than 1/3 cup
  • Black mustard seeds- 1.5 teaspoons
  • Fenugreek seeds- ½ teaspoon
  • Dried red chillies- 3-4
  • Water- ½ cup
  • Salt- to taste
  • Sugar- 1-1.5 teaspoons
  • Cooking oil- ¼ cup (Gingelly oil is your best bet. Canola works too, I used Canola)

How to go about it

  1. In a pan, heat the cooking oil. Medium heat. Once hot, add the mustard, fenugreek and dried red chillies. Allow the seeds to spultter.
  2. Next, add the ginger and the green chillies. Saute well for 1.5- 2 minutes. This will ensure that the flavours are released well into the oil.
  3. Now take the pan off the heat and add the chilli powder. Move the chilli powder around for 30 seconds while it is off the heat to ensure it doesn’t burn. Place the pan back on LOW heat. Fry the chilli powder for another 30 seconds. It will get darker in colour but make sure it does not burn!
  4. Add half the vinegar and mix well. Keep mixing for another 15-20 seconds.Next, add the remaining vinegar and water. Mix well. Add the salt too (you may want to add a little extra salt as this is a pickle. Helps to preserve the carrots and also tastes great with all the chilli, vinegar and sugar).
  5. Add the carrot wedges and mix it all up well. If you feel you’d like a bit more sauce in the pickle, add more water. Mix very well and keep the pan closed for about two minutes (on medium heat) and allow the carrots to cook ever so lightly. The carrots must be crisp even at the end.
  6. Add the sugar (add 1 tsp and see if you need more to reach the right balance), mix well again, check salt and add more if required. Pickling is a skill you acquire with time. So, if you’re a newbie, keep tasting at every step to get to the right balance that works on your palate.
  7. Allow the pickle to come to room temperature before storing away in clean and dry glass bottles. Keeps well for months in the fridge. Just make sure you use a clean and dry spoon every time you serve the pickle.

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