People from Punjab love their Achaar. Aloo parantha (flatbread stuffed with potatoes), ghar ka makhan (homemade white butter) and achaar is comfort food at its best for us.
What we call achaar is basically pickled vegetables. Our pickling is done with various spices and not just vinegar. Today I am sharing a punjabi recipe of a popular achaar in our parts of the world – gobhi, gajar and shalgam ka achaar (carrot, cauliflower and turnip pickle).
My grandmother was known for the pickles she made and every winter she would make this cauliflower, carrot and turnip pickle in bulk and send us back with jars of her famous pickle that we would enjoy for months.
When I started blogging (around the same time I started cooking), one of the recipes I wanted to share (and document for my own purpose) was my grandmother’s achaar recipe. One ambitious day I thought I will try it out and called my grandmom up to get the recipe. She explained it in as much details possible how she makes her famous pickle. She tried her best to explain it to me but somewhere I screwed up. I had decided the next time I am at my grandparents for a few days I will learn from her. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to and she passed away three years back.
A few days back we were handed a bottle of homemade pickle from one of my neighbours. We really enjoyed the pickle and my mom asked for the recipe. Although my mom hardly ever enters the kitchen these days, and either tells me or our cook to make any new recipe, I was surprised when she took the initiative to make this when our neighbor handed over the recipe, which on closer inspection I realised is adapted from here.
Mom made very slight changes to the original recipe. Things to keep in mind while making this pickle is that before you add the vegetables make sure you dry them properly. Any moisture left has a higher risk of catching mold. You should also make sure the jars you plan to put and store the pickle in are sterilized well and absolutely dry when you fill the jars with the pickle. If you are careful of these things the pickle will stay good for 5-6 months. Hope you get to try this and please do share your results.
- 500 gms cauliflower
- 500 gms turnip (shalgam)
- 500 gms carrots
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 400 gms powdered jaggery (gur)
- ¼ cup roughly chopped ginger
- 3 tbsp chopped garlic
- 1 cup roughly chopped onions
- 1 cup mustard oil
- 6 tsp red chilli powder
- 4 tsp garam masala (my mom uses achaar garam masala that our local store sells)
- 2 tsp split mustard seeds
- 8 tsp rock salt or regular salt
- Chop the cauliflower and keep in warm water for 15-20 minutes to remove any insects in the cauliflower. Drain and set aside.
- Prepare the carrots and turnip by peeling and chopping to 1.5 to 2 inches sticks.
- In a large pan, boil some water for blanching the vegetables.
- Once the water comes to a rolling boil, add the cauliflower florets, carrots and turnips and blanch for 2-3 minutes. Drain the water out.
- Dry the vegetables out on a cloth evenly. You can dry them in the sun for a day or in the shade for a day or two. Make sure there is no moisture left and the vegetables are completely dry.
- When dry, prepare the masala. Puree the onions, ginger and garlic in a blender, without adding any water.
- Mix the jaggery with vinegar in a saucepan on low flame. You can adjust the quantity of jaggery used as per your tastes. Stir till the jaggery dissolves and the cook till mixture reaches 1 string consistency. Switch flame off and keep aside.
- In another large pan, heat the mustard oil till its smoking point. Add the ground paste and cook it, stirring continuously. Saute till the onions become light brown, about 15-18 minutes on low flame. Add the salt, garam masala. red chilli powder and split mustard seeds. Stir well.
- Add the chopped veggies and stir till combined and remove from flame. Add the jaggery and vinegar solution and stir well. Allow the pickle to cool down, without covering it with any lid.
- In clean, sterilized and absolutely dry jars, add the cool pickle making sure the oil covers the top of the veggies in the jar. Cover tightly and let sit at room temperature or in the sun for 2-3 days. Enjoy