Pickles, Condiments & DIY Spice Powders

Pickled Winter Vegetables

Pickled Winter Vegetables, via Sinfully SpicyNo winter is complete without a jar of pickled vegetables. Crunchy, tangy & spicy, these appear as a side to all my winter meals. While most of you are euphoric about holiday baking, in our house, it’s all about soups and pickling at this time of the year. Mornings are colder, sun is lazy to show up and nip in the air is here to stay. When I am not stirring pots of stews, I love to steer around the house with jars of pickles, chasing sun light.

Winter Vegetables, Pickled

As far as I m concerned, all meals are better with pickles, I have a soft spot for them. Hot & oily ones in particular. If the pickles are sun cooked, even better – which is how my family usually does it.There is something incredibly priceless about what solar cooking does to concoction of spices & mustard oil – the heat from the former and pungency of the oil lend them a distinct flavor & aroma.

Indian Pickled Winter Vegetables, Sinfully Spicy

The vegetables I use in this recipe are available all round the year, but back home, we get first batches of those red, juicy carrots, fibrous sem phalli (indian broad beans),earthy tasting cauliflowers and subtly sweet indian radishes and turnips – that’s when you know its time to bottle up!

In all honesty, I will either eat homemade pickles or have none at all. Lets just say that I m too picky about my pickles.I am clingy about my grandma’s pickle recipes and seriously wish I could replicate her taste each time. Sometimes, its not the recipes but the magic of hands which brings in the taste. Her pickles certainly fell in that category.

Indian Pickling Spices

This pickle is typical to northern parts of India during winter months – you will find almost all road side dhabas (diners) serving it as a condiment alongside meals.Honestly, the real joy in eating these pickles is when you pair them with flatbreads and curry on the side or drizzle few extra teaspoons of that flavored oil atop your bowl of rice & lentils – a taste which cannot be defined, just devoured.

Indian Mixed Winter Vegetables Pickle

Ingredients ( Yields 1 pound of pickle)

  • 1 lb mixed vegetables (cauliflower florets, sem phalli (indian broad beans), mooli (indian radish or daikon), carrots, turnips)
  •  4-5 cups of water + 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 + 1/4 tsp rai ( tiny brown mustard seeds, no substitute)
  • 1/2 tsp hing powder (asafoetida)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1.5 tbsp red chilli powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar/ jaggery powder (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup mustard oil

Also needed :-

  1. Kitchen Towels
  2. Glass bowls
  3. Plastic Wrap sheet
  4. Clean, dry Wooden Spoons
  5. Wide-Mouthed, Sterile Canning Jars (preferably with plastic or glass lids).Click here to see how you can sterlize the jars.

Method :- 

Prepping the vegetables :- Thoroughly wash all the vegetables under stream of running water to remove all dirt & grit.

Since 50% of the carotene content of carrots is in the skin, I don’t peel them if it looks clean, cut the carrots into thick 2″ long batons.Peel the skin of turnips (if using) and slice them. Scrape the skin of the radish and cut them into 2″ long batons. De-vein the broad beans. If any of the beans have tough seeds,discard.Cut off the cauliflower stems and cut medium size florets.

Bring 4-5 cups of water to a rolling boil. Once boiling, add the salt and take water off the heat. Add the prepared vegetables to the hot water and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Drain and spread the vegetables on a kitchen towel till they completely dry out.

Making the pickle :-

Using your coffee grinder, coarsely grind the rai seeds. Transfer to a small glass bowl and add the hing, turmeric, red chilli powder, sugar and salt to it. Combine the spices with a dry spoon. Lightly warm up the mustard oil. Transfer the dried vegetables to a large glass bowl.Sprinkle the spice mix over the vegetables and pour 1/4 cup of oil. Using a clean, dry wooden spoon or your hands, mix well so that all the vegetables are well coated with the spices & oil. At this point, if you taste, the pickle will be very bitter. But dont worry, it will be okay after sun cooking.

Transfer the vegetables to canning jars.Top up with the remaining 1/4 cup of warm mustard oil. Don’t fill till the top of the jar but at the same time don’t leave a lot of room for bacteria in air to get moldy. Leaving 1/2″ space from the top is okay. If you are using jars with metal lid, you will need to cover the mouth of jar with plastic wrap to avoid the contact between pickle & metal. Let the jars sit in sun. The pickle is ready when the spices taste sour and you see vegetables releasing their juices at the bottom of the jar but still remaining crunchy. You would want to check the salt of the pickle after about 3-4 days and adjust.You will need to shake the jars periodically. In Las Vegas winter sun, it took about 8-10 days to get that stage.

There is no need to refrigerate.Sun-cooked pickles normally last at room conditions. Always use a clean spoon to serve the pickles, they keep for months together.

Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!

33 thoughts on “Pickled Winter Vegetables

  1. I am not much of a pickle person unless I am eating some stuffed paratha. Arvind on the otherhand likes only chili pickle 🙂 Looking at the photos, I feel like making some. It’s looks so tempting and beautifully styled as always. 🙂

  2. Did you eat the pickle on its own or as a side dish from main meal?
    anyway, I love the lighting from all the clicks and the way you style. very beautiful!

    1. Ira,
      We eat pickles as a side with stuffed flatbreads or steamed rice. Even though I think they are so good on their own with or with some cheese & crackers!

  3. Even just the word ‘pickle’ makes my mouth water 🙂
    South Indian pickles are very different from this but I like all kinds of pickles. I have already tried Prerna’s whole stuffed red chili pickle, I shall now try your carrot and cauliflower pickle.

  4. Dear Tanvi,
    I enjoy reading your posts so much! They remind me of my home back in Delhi and of my maternal and paternal grandmothers whose cooking had strong north Indian flavor as they were from western UP. My grandmothers would make achar of any possible vegetable right from jack fruit to carrots all in glorious combinations of saunf, mustard oil and other Indian spices. My Nani once packed a 2kg achar box with me at the end of our 2 months annual vacations when we used to visit her and JUST EAT!! Your achar reminds me of my grandmothers. I am gonna make it as I can almost smell from your pictures! Keep posting!!!


    1. Thanks Pooja. You are always too kind to me & my little blog.A part of my family ( mom’s side)hails from UP side and I know the kind of flavors you are talking about. Hope you make tbis pickle & like it.

  5. wow pickle….i am a complete pickle person… this can be a wonderful thing to make.. i hve never made pickle myself although i hve seem elders at home do it often… i hve always regarded it as something tht is made only be the experienced and older… but somehow this post makes me feel i can make it too. lovely!

  6. thanks dear i was looking for this recipe,do you have the recipe for the watery version also?

  7. I love this pickle. It reminds me of home. I used to enjoy a quick snack of amul butter and bread with the spicy vegetables tucked inside.

  8. I love vegetable pickle. It’s been a long time since I made this. I am going to try it again in summer when the sun is all up and bright. Did you manage to find wheat rava right? which you asked me in twitter?

  9. Hi Tanvi – It’s been a while I visited Sinfully Spicy and I so glad that I get to take some time off today and checking in. Enjoying all your latest share of spicy foods! Since we are still living temporary with my in-laws, I have been cutting down a lot on spicy foods. So this post is feeding to my cravings! I love spicy pickles with steamed rice and some grilled fish on a side. In Malaysia, we like adding some crushed peanuts to the pickled vegetables. I like your idea of using mustard oil. Absolutely fantastic!

  10. I came to realize that I had never had pickles that has turmeric or other spices in it. I’ve only tried ones with simple vinegar. So this is new and interesting recipe to me. I bet the flavor is wonderful! I’m used to the clear pickles, but now I learned there is yellow and red one (kimchi from Korea.). I thought it’s interesting! 🙂

  11. I love pickled vegetables, being Iraqi my aunt always has a big jar of pickled carrots and cauliflower on her counter. I grew up calling it Turshi. While it tasted amazing the vegetables never had the glow your recipe provides for. The turmeric gives the vegetables such lovely colour.

  12. I’m the founder/moderator for Punk Domestics (www.punkdomestics.com), a community site for those of use obsessed with, er, interested in DIY food. It’s sort of like Tastespotting, but specific to the niche. I’d love for you to submit this to the site. Good stuff!

      1. Thanks! It i
        s “winter” in the Bay Area of California but I have a sunny kitchen window. Will try to sun some veggies for pickling there.

      2. I live in Las Vegas so ample sunlight here..bay area is not too bad, atlas no snow 🙂 It may take a few days longer than what I mentioned in the recipe but you will know from the pungent, acidic aroma when the pickle ready!

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