The hunger gap is coming. This is a time of year when winter veg are running out & the vibrant greens of spring are not yet ready. Now is a good time to start preserving a few winter veg to eat during the leaner months. Usually the winter crops start to run out sometime in February and the spring ones don’t start until April.
The best way to breeze through the lean seasons is to preserve during the bountiful seasons. This is how people did it before supermarkets and the perpetual summer of bland veg they bestow on us.
Pickling and preserving can seem quite intimidating if you’ve never done it before and also it can take a long time for them to be ready to eat. This recipe is easy to make and ready to eat in a couple of days. It should be kept in the fridge & eaten in 4-6 weeks – perfect for filling the hunger gap with something vibrant & tasty! The ingredients are easy to find and you can change them to your tastes and whatever veg you have. If you have any questions please email us firstname.lastname@example.org
This recipe came from a book by Madhur Jaffrey. It is from Northern India where pickles are a part of every meal. I love to eat this with pretty much anything. It is hot & sour & fragrant so really wakes the tastebuds up. You can adjust the spicing and add or omit anything you want really. The main point is to fry the veg in oil with something tasty & then cover with the vinegar. Easy!
Gajar Achar Recipe
You will need a large pan or wok & a large sterilised jar
(or whatever hard root veg you have – turnips, swede, celeriac & beets are all good in this)
175ml cider vinegar (or any strong vinegar)
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3-4 cloves garlic
1″ fresh ginger
2 tsp black mustard seeds (ground)
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp salt
1. Chop the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and grate the garlic and ginger.
2. Heat the vinegar and sugar to dissolve the sugar and set aside.
3. Heat a good amount of oil in a wok or large saucepan and add the ginger and garlic for about a minute to release the flavours into the oil. Keep the heat high and work fast. The aim is to keep the vegetables crunchy, practically raw but they should take on some of the flavours of the spices.
4. Add the carrots and any other harder vegetables you may be using and continue to fry on high heat for a couple of minutes stirring all the time to avoid burning the garlic and ginger.
5. After a couple of minutes add the other vegetables and continue to stir-fry for 3 minutes.
4. Now add the spices and salt and fry for a minute or so mixing them into the vegetables and releasing their flavour.
5. Last thing is to add the vinegar and sugar solution and bring them to the boil. Keep stirring everything to coat the vegetables in the spicy vinegar. Once boiling remove from the heat and quickly transfer the pickle to a sterilised glass jar.
Store in the fridge & eat within 6 weeks