Pickles are ubiquitous in India. Spicy green chilli pickles, Mango Pickles with Cardamom and Fenugreek, tiny Plum Pickles, yellow Cauliflower pickle, Apple Pickles, even Quince Pickle and Cumquat Pickles. You name it, every Indian household will have big jars filled with freshly made pickles sitting in the sunshine. This is a method commonly used to develop the flavours of the pickle and let them mature.
Making Indian pickles is so simple. Some are pickled in oil, some in an acid, like vinegar, or lemon or lime juice. It may take some time to allow the flavours to develop, but all good things take time.
Oil style pickles are common in North India, and salt and oil play important parts in the pickling process. Salt adds to the flavour, draws moisture out of the vegetable and inhibits bacterial growth. Oil acts as a barrier and keeps the vegetables moist. Different oils produce different tasting pickles.
Today’s pickle is a beautiful crunchy carrot pickle, made mustardy with the use of mustard oil and mustard seeds. It is a perfect accompaniment to parathas, vegetable pulao or any meal, really.
Have a look at other Carrot Pickles, and all of our other Pickles – our Chutneys too. All of our Carrot dishes are here. Or browse our Indian recipes, the Indian Essentials Series, and explore our Mid Spring recipes too.
Don’t forget to use sterilised jars and only very fresh vegetables. Also, don’t skimp on the salt, it acts as a preservatives.
Gajar ka Achaar | Mustardy Carrot Pickle
3 Tblspn mustard seeds, powdered
1 Tblspn salt
1 Tblspn chilli powder
1 cup mustard oil
Take the mustard seeds and grind into a powder. A spice grinder is perfect for this.
Peel the carrots and cut them into 10cm long batons, about 0.75 – 1 cm wide.
Heat the mustard seed oil and allow to cool a little.
Place the carrots into jars and distribute the salt and spices between the jars. Pour the oil over, tap the jars to remove air bubbles. Make sure the carrots are covered by the oil, and place the lids on. Sit on a sunny window sill for 7 days, shaking the jars once a day.
After 7 days they can be refrigerated while they are being used to accompany meals.
Add a dried chilli or two to the jar and reduce the chilli powder.
Eat this pickle with curd and rice – it is wonderful. It also goes very well will Rotis or Parathas.