The world of pickles is amazing, there are thousands of variations of pickles from every country on the planet. This cooked pickle, compared to the fermented varieties, is absolutely superb and terribly addictive.
This is an unusual pickle from the Middle east. The crunchy carrots are cooked briefly in a sweet-spicy vinegar whose flavour they absorb over time. The carrots still maintain their crunch which is part of the magic that makes them so addictive. The combination of sweet, tart and spicy makes these perfect as a side for almost anything. I love to serve these with sandwiches and burgers, but also use them as a condiment on the table with main courses. Always make more than you think you need as they will disappear fast. These pickles are best marinated for 5-7 days before serving, it gives the carrots time to absorb the flavours.
I have been slowly collecting the books of Greg and Lucy Malouf over the last few years. This is a newer and more contemporary cookbook of flavours from the Arabian Peninsula. The Maloufs have used their deep knowledge and expertise to give the recipes a new spin or new look, but the flavours stay true to their core. The dishes are always fantastic and a hit on any table. This is a cookbook that is a wonderful addition to any chef's bookshelf.
For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.
2 lb carrots, cut into fine matchsticks
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
10 curry leaves
1/2 cup apple juice
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
Salt, to taste
For the spice paste:
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2-3 dried red chillies
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
A few tablespoons of water
Dry roast the cumin seeds and red chillies individually till toasted and lightly coloured. Cool and grind to a fine powder in a spice mill.
Add the spice powder, garlic, ginger and turmeric to a small blender and just enough water to allow the purée to blend into a fine paste. Do not add too much water and make the paste soupy.
Heat the oil in a pot and add the mustard seeds and the cumin seeds. Fry for 20 seconds till the mustard seeds begin to pop. Add the curry leaves, give the mix a quick turn and add the spice paste and cook till the ginger and garlic are cooked and aromatic, about 3 minutes.
Add the carrots, apple juice and vinegar and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15-18 minutes till the liquids have reduced by half and the carrots are cooked but still retain a bite. Cool and store in the fridge for 5-7 days.