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Spicy vegetable pickle

Pickles in Indian food are inseparable from a complete meal. It is served as a side in very small quantities, no more than a teaspoon and it not only teases your taste buds but also works as an appetizer and a digestive. There are endless varieties of pickles in India where the main ingredient, the vegetable or a fruit changes but quite often the spices used remain more or less the same. This pickle recipe is made with some of the most common vegetables – cauliflower, carrots, radish, green beans and green peas. The pickle is preserved in spices, oil and lemon juice and it can last for several months without the need for any refrigeration.

Some spices that are used in Indian pickles are combined and coarsely ground while some are used whole. The spices are not cooked, they impart their flavour to the oil and vegetables over time. The oil used in this pickle is cold-pressed mustard oil. Other oils such as olive oil, peanut oil, and sesame oil may also be used.

Spicy vegetable Indian pickle

Indian vegetable pickle

Recipe by Srikant SinghCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Medium


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This is a spicy vegetable pickle made with five vegetables, aromatics like turmeric and ginger, fruits like chilli and lemon and 12 spices. The list of ingredients is long but making it is quite easy.


  • Vegetables
  • 200 gm / 2 cups Cauliflower florets

  • 200 gm / 2 cups carrots diced

  • 150 gm / 1.5 cups radish diced

  • 100 gm / 1 cup green beans diced

  • 100 gm / 1 cup green beans

  • Spices
  • 1 Tbsp cumin seeds / Jeera

  • 1 Tbsp fenugreek seeds / Methi

  • 1 Tbsp black/brown mustard seeds / Sarso

  • 1 Tbsp nigella seeds / Kalonji

  • 1 Tbsp fennel seeds / Saunf

  • 1 tsp of whole black pepper

  • 1 Tbsp of yellow mustard seeds

  • 1 Tbsp coriander powder.

  • 1 tsp of Ajwain or carrom seeds.

  • 1 Tbsp of Turmeric powder

  • 1 tsp of Hing/ Asafoetida

  • 1 Tbsp of Kashmiri red chilli powder

  • 3 Tbsp of pink Himalayan salt

  • Oil
  • 400 ml/ 2 cups Mustard oil


  • Prepare the vegetables. Wash peel and break the cauliflower into florets and chop the remaining vegetables. Bring water to boil in a large pot and blanch the vegetables for 5 minutes.
  • Drain the water and leave the vegetables to dry on a thin cloth. Dry them indoors or outdoors if warm sunlight is available. Other ways to dehydrate are using an oven or dehydrator. To check if the blanched vegetables are dry hold them in your hands, they will feel cold but not moist on your hands.
  • Prepare the ginger and turmeric, and slice them into juliennes or large but thin pieces. Cut the lemons and remove the seeds and the white part as they make the pickle bitter. Slit the green chilli and remove the seeds. This will tame the spiciness of the chilli.Ginger and Turmeric
  • Heat the Mustard oil until it reaches the smoke point. Turn off the heat or remove the pan containing the oil. Allow it to cool down to a temperature where it is barely warm.
  • Prepare a spice mix panchphoran with 1 Tbsp each of cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, brown Mustard seeds and fennel seeds. This will give you 5 Tbsp of this spice mix. Toast this on medium heat and grind coarsely in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.
  • Add the warm mustard oil to a mixing bowl. Add the ginger juliennes, fresh turmeric roots, lemon, chilli, ground panchphoran and the dry spices except Kashmiri red chilli powder and yellow mustard seeds. Add salt and mix all the ingredients thoroughly.
  • Grind the yellow mustard seeds coarsely. Add it to the oil along with the red chilli powder.
  • Add the blanched and dried vegetables to the bowl and mix it gently with the spiced oil. Add 1/2 a cup of lemon juice or vinegar. The oil must cover every ingredient.
  • Store the pickle in a dry jar. The pickle can be had instantly but the taste gets better when it is allowed to age for at least 1 week or even longer.
  • Shake the bottle every day so that the oil that has settled at the bottom is distributed again evenly over all ingredients. When the pickle is ready to eat, use a spoon to stir everything inside the bottle before scooping out the pickle.
  • The ready pickle will be a crunchy spicy delight. Use it as a side in your meals but not more than a teaspoon. It can work as an excellent prebiotic and probiotic and improve gut health and digestion.

Recipe Video

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