Time has come for all the remaining courgettes to be preserved for the Winter. No one has even heard of Piccalilli in Bulgaria so I thought I’d treat my parents to a batch, but make it an extra spicy one as they bots are chilli lovers.
I’m using as many veggies I can find laying about the house – A cauliflower, a few green peppers, carrots, red onions and of course – courgettes!
I’m also adding a bowl of green tomatoes, which I had to fight my dad for… “Don’t you dare pick them, they are nowhere near ready, plus we only have 15 vines this year..!”
I love the taste and texture they add to the mature piccalilli, plus I’m a much faster runner than him..
Everything gets chopped into tiny 1/2cm pieces, goes onto a large pan with a handful of sea salt. Make sure you give all a good mix, coating well in the salt. Put a lid on and leave in a cool, dark room for 24 hrs.
After 24 hrs wash very well in cold water (run at least 3 water changes through), drain well and set aside, while you get your marinade ready:
Altogether I’ve got roughly 2 kilos of vegetables, if you are using more or less, adjust the marinade measures accordingly.
4 tbs sea salt
4 tbsp corn flour
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp ground ginger (fresh rood about 5 cm long)
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp mustard powder
1 tbsp coriander seeds (Crushed lightly)
1 tbsp cumin seeds (Crushed lightly)
2 tbsp dried chilli flakes
5tbs caster sugar
1 litre apple vinegar (cider can be used as well)
100 ml honey
5 tbsp brown sugar
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl with 3,4 tbsp of the vinegar, to form a thick paste.
In a pot, bring the vinegar, sugar and honey to a boil. Add the paste, stir and bring back to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 3, 4 minutes to allow the flavors to combine well.
Set aside to cool down almost completely
Add the liquid to the veggies, stir to coat well and fill into small jars (I’ve actually used 190 ml baby food jars, courtesy of my daughter’s daily meals :-)) Close them tight with the lids.
In a large pot, put as many jars as you can fit (you might need to do 2, 3 batches, depending on how large a quantity you are preserving) and cover with water completely. Bring to a rapid boil and leave for 5 minutes.
Now the difficult part comes – the piccalilli actually takes 6 weeks to reach full maturity, and it is best eaten then. I couldn’t wait, had to taste it straight away and to be honest, although the flavor is lovely as is, it is still very sharp and the juices are still rather runny. It is surely worth the wait and an absolute treat!!
Give it a try!