The not so cold winter here in Sydney has almost reached its last few stages. The weather has almost become bearable. While many no longer crave to be swathed in layers of clothing, there is still a dreamy chill in the air reminding you that winter has not yet left. The barren trees and souls deprived of leaves and lovers seem to be coming to life in the hope of Spring.
And while spring brings a lot of new beginnings, I am almost sorry to watch winter go. So I am trying to rustle up all the winter specialties I can in my Kitchen before the season ends.
Most North Indians will recognize this jar of “Gajar Ka Achar,” (Instant carrot pickle) which magically appears on our kitchen tables only during winters. It doesn’t require a long preparation time or fermentation and can be instantly devoured.
Another variation of the pickle is to use Parsnip, fresh Turmeric or Green chilies, and it tastes just as good.
Cooking time 30 minutes (Lasts up to 15 days in the fridge)
500 gms carrots
50 gms Red chili powder
50 gms Turmeric powder
1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
1 tsp Black salt
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Mustard seeds crushed coarsely in a mortar
1 cup Mustard Oil
Pinch of Asafoetida
½ cup Vinegar (Optional, I don’t use it)
1 tsp fresh Ginger Garlic paste
1 Sterilised clean glass jar
Peel the Carrots, cut them and slit them lengthwise. Boil them in hot water till they are almost done and let the Carrots dry out completely. You can use a tissue paper to pop up any excess water as it may cause fungus.
Once the carrots have completely dried up, lay them on a plate and add the Red Chilli powder, Turmeric powder, Black Salt and Salt and rub the mixture really well on the Carrots.
Add them in the spice rubbed Carrots in the clean jar and add the crushed Mustard seeds on top.
Heat the Mustard oil in a pan. Mustard oil has a very high smoking point, once it is heated, turn off the heat and let it cool a little. You don’t want the oil to be cold, just warm enough. Add the Fenugreek seeds, Asafoetida & Ginger garlic paste and add that to the Carrots.
Close the lid of the jar and shake it vigorously, so everything is mixed well. (Add the vinegar if you are adding it).
The pickle will last in a cool dark place at room temperature for 15 days but would last longer if you have added Vinegar.