For the pickle- minded

Apr 28, 2013, 08:43 IST | Sonal Ved

Don't let your summer dose of tang and spice start and end with the ubiquitous Indian achaar. Here's what Ecuador, Ethiopia, North Africa and Japan have to offer in pickles. Sonal Ved gets city chefs to try their hand at these foreign preserves

When you think pickle, your mind conjures images of cream and brown ceramic jars filled with an oil-soaked vegetable muddle. But this season, think outside the box and zing up your lunches with these foreign counterparts. Not only are they healthy with their no-oil and less-spice formula, but also easy to make.

Japanese Gari

Ingredients
>> 250 gm young ginger
>> 10 gm sea salt
>> 260 gm rice vinegar
>> 75 gm sugar
>> 5 gm beetroot

Method:
>> Finely slice ginger and beetroot
>> Sprinkle sea salt on the ginger slices and allow it to rest for an hour
>> Pat dry the slices with the help of a kitchen towel and transfer them into a stainless steel container
>> In a pan, heat rice vinegar, sugar, beetroot slices and bring it to a boil
>> Discard the beetroot slice once it colours the liquid well
>> Pour hot vinegar over ginger slices and cool the pickle to room temperature
>> Stock in airtight jars and store in a refrigerator. Consume with a week

North African Mekhallel 

Ingredients
>> 2 cups water
>> 1 cup vinegar
>> 2 tsp salt
>> 1 tsp sugar
>> ½ tsp black peppercorns
>> ¼ tsp dill
>> 1 beetroot
>> 1 carrot
>> 1 white/red radish
>> 1 cucumber
>> ½ head of cauliflower, break into florets
>> 1 green or jalapeno chilli, muddled

Method:
>> Chop beetroot, carrot, radish and cucumber into batons
>> Heat water and add vinegar, salt, peppercorn and sugar
>> Bring to boil and add the vegetable batons, cauliflower florets and boil
>> Add dill and chilli, mix well and cool to room temperature
>> Stock in airtight jars and use after two days; consume within two months

Ecuadorian Onions in Orange Juice

Ingredients
>> 2 red onions, finely sliced
>> Juice of one lime
>> Juice of one orange
>> 1 cup apple cider
>> Vinegar
>> ¼ cup water
>> 1-2 jalapeno chilles, finely sliced
>> 4-6 whole peppercorns
>> 3-4 all spice powder
>> 1 tsp oregano
>> Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
>> Pour boiling water over onions and keep aside for 15 minutes
>> Drain and rinse the onions under fresh running water
>> In a bowl, mix lemon juice with orange juice, apple cider vinegar, water, jalapeno,
peppercorn, whole spice powder, oregano, salt and pepper
>> Add blanched onions to this and mix well
>> Transfer the pickle into a sterilised glass jar and refrigerate it for eight hours before serving
>> Use up the pickle within three weeks from making

Ethiopian Spicy Okra Pickle

Ingredients
>> 1 kg okra
>> 4-5 green chillies
>> 2 jalapeno, cut lengthwise
>> 4 sprigs dill
>> 1 tsp cumin seeds
>> 1 tsp fennel seeds
>> 1 tsp coriander seeds
>> 2 tbsp salt
>> 3 tbsp sugar
>> 3 cups water
>> 2 ½ cups of white vinegar

Method:
>> In a saucepan, mix white vinegar with water
>> Add sugar, salt, cumin, fennel and coriander seeds to it and bring the mixture to a boil
>> Remove from fire and stir in the dill sprigs, chillies and okra
>> Allow the pickle to come down to room temperature and stock it in an airtight container
>> Refrigerate and consume within two weeks 

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