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Winter Pickles

In India (particularly North India), pickling is largely a summer phenomenon. The harsh summer sunshine provides ideal climatic conditions for pickling – and the harvesting of raw mangoes marks the beginning of the pickling season. The entire pickling process is based on the excellent natural preservative capabilities of cold-pressed Mustard Oil.

Taking advantage of these preservative properties, some parts of India also use Mustard Oil to pickle certain winter vegetables as an exciting condiment to have with their meals. There’s also a health angle in the making of these winter pickles. Typically, in addition to Mustard Oil which has proven antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, such winter pickles use turmeric and red chillies. Turmeric has powerful antiseptic and analgesic properties in addition to anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Red chillies too have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Suppose you want to make a Carrot Pickle, take two large 500-millilitre jars, wash them and let them dry. Take 500 grams of carrots, wash them and let them dry completely. When they are dry, cut them into cubes or strips, whatever you prefer, and let them dry once again. You will also need two tablespoons of mustard powder, one tablespoon of grated turmeric (Haldi), one teaspoon of red chilli powder and a tablespoon of salt.

In a large bowl, add the carrot pieces, mustard powder, grated turmeric, red chilli powder and salt. Mix well. Divide this mixture into two equal parts and place them in the glass jars. Top up each jar with cold-pressed Mustard Oil, making sure that the oil completely submerges the carrot pieces. Put the lids on the jars and keep them aside for two days – this will let the flavour of the spices “soak into” the carrot.

Your carrot pickle is now ready to be eaten. By keeping the jars in a refrigerator, you can safely consume this pickle for the next four weeks.

Instead of carrots you can choose any other winter vegetable of your choice – the pickling process will remain exactly the same.

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