There are gorgeous carrots flooding the markets these days, I am sure you would have noticed. Carrot season is upon us, and we get an abundance of those big, juicy, orange ones that are a delight to eat. Perfect to make pickle with!
On my last vegetable shopping expedition, I picked up a few carrots specifically for pickling. As soon as I saw them, I had visions of a pickle that Amma used to make back in Ahmedabad, a simple one that requires absolutely no cooking. It tastes crunchy and mustardy and wintery and very, very beautiful. Once I got back home, I followed the same recipe that we would use all those years ago. The result was lovely.
This pickle is commonly made in Delhi and some other parts of North India in the winter months, when it is carrot season. There are little variations in the recipe, from one family to another, and I decided to go with what is known and familiar to me.
Here is how I made the pickle…
Ingredients (yields one small jam jar of pickle):
4 large carrots
5-6 green chillies
Juice of 2 lemons
Salt, to taste
3 tablespoons mustard powder (this is nothing but mustard seeds ground to a coarse powder, in the mixer)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
3 tablespoons oil (preferably mustard oil)
- Remove the tops from the carrots and peel them. Chop them into batons, about 2 inches long. Keep aside.
- Remove the tops from the green chillies. Slit them lengthwise. Keep aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, put in the chopped carrots and slit green chillies. Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, oil, salt, lemon juice, and mustard powder. Mix well.
- Keep this, covered, at room temperature for a day. Keep mixing the pickle intermittently with a clean, moisture-free spoon.
- After a day, you can transfer the pickle to a clean, air-tight jam jar that has no trace of moisture in it. This way, the pickle will keep for about a week, at room temperature. Refrigeration will help you preserve the pickle for a slightly longer time duration.
- This pickle is usually made in small quantities, during season, for immediate consumption. It is not meant to be stored for longer durations.
- You could add a lot of salt to the pickle and use vinegar instead of lemon juice, to increase its shelf life even more. I avoid doing that, and use a normal quantity of salt and prefer to use a natural ingredients like lemon juice.
- This pickle makes for a lovely accompaniment to parathas and rotis. I love having it with curd rice, too.
- After the pickle has had a chance to stand for a day or two, taste it and add any more seasonings as required. You might want to add more salt or turmeric or mustard powder to it. The measures given here are strictly based on my family’s and my preferences.
- It is a good idea to give the bottle of pickle a shake every now and then, so that all the carrots remain coated evenly with the spices. Before you serve the pickle, too, ensure that you give the bottle a good shake.
Do you like carrot pickle? How do you make it at home?