Winter Vegetables Achar - Gajar Gobi ka Achar
In pursuit of my hobby to cook, this year I made my first pickle - a typical Bengali mango pickle during the summers. A glimpse of the results.
As a follow up to hone the skills further, had planned to make the North Indian vegetable pickle which is typically made during the winters. While I am not very fond of pickles, this is one pickle which I had been having since childhood and remains one of my most liked ones. I had the first taste of this pickle made by one of my maternal aunts staying in Delhi. My earlier attempt at making this pickle two winters back ended in a fiasco. Hence, this time I exercised extra caution. The fact that we have a nice open to the sky balcony helped further by ensuring good amount of sunlight for the 'solar cooking'.
The recipe I followed is as follows:
1. Vegetables: 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. I also added fresh green peas and some green chillies as well.
2. Spices: About 1 tbsp Red chilli powder; turmeric; 1 tbsp each of fenugreek, cumin seeds and mustard seeds
3. Salt - 30gms (about 2 tbsp)
4. 1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste
5. Mustard Oil - 2 ladlefuls (about 200ml)
6. Vinegar - 3 tbsp
Making the Pickle:
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. Cut the green chillies into two.
3. In a large vessel, bring to boil a litre of water and then blanch the cut vegetables (including the peas and green chillies) for 3 minutes.
4. Drain and then spread on a clean cloth and dry in the sun completely. You can put them in the sun for two consecutive days.
5. Dry roast the cumin, fenugreek, and mustard seeds. Coarse grind them. You can use a heavy pestle to do this.
6. Combine the above crushed mix along with the other spices and keep it aside.
7. Heat the mustard oil in a heavy bottom pan till smoking point. Add the ginger garlic paste allow it to fry for few seconds and add the spice mix. After frying for about 30-40 secs, add the vegetables into the pan. Stir and mix it well and allow it to cook for few minutes. Turn off the flame and allow to cool. Once completely cool, add the vinegar. Pour the entire mix into the jar.
7. Cover with muslin cloth and keep in the sun for atleast 3-4 days. Shake and mix well.