This is the perfect accompaniment to your Saturday night curry feast! Curry makes any weekend extra special.
I like shop bought pickles, it’s generally what you eat in restaurants in India. Although the very best pickles I’ve ever eaten have been home made (no surprises there then!) Mango, lime and mixed pickles are my favs but I had a few nice carrots in the kitchen, so I thought I’d give this a go. The spice combination and method can be used for most firm, sweet veggies, pumpkin or squash for example also work very well. This is very much a milder pickle don’t expect that eye-popping and taste bud tickling saltiness. Its mellow like a mango pickle with spicy bells on with a nice sweet and sour chilli-ness.
The drawback of most shop bought pickles is the salt. In India I have noticed pickles are used sparingly, a couple of teaspoons per meal. In Britain, I think we can overdo it sometimes and all that salt is just not cool. The lovely thing about taking a wholefood approach, making an effort to cook much of your food at home, is that you know whats going into your dishes. We can moderate the sugar and salt levels here accordingly.
FIVE HEALTH BENEFITS OF GINGER
Really ginger is more like a medicine than a food! It is just so good for us. Some people get a little freaked out when I start talking about the health properties of food, but I can’t help myself!! I love to know that the food I enjoy is actually doing me some good, not just tasting amazing, but filling me with nutrition and vitality. Healthy food is not the worthy, boring grey slop of old, its the bright and very tasty future for us all!
- Anti-oxidant – Ginger contains a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory called gingerol. It is one of the natural oils in ginger which gives it such a powerful aroma. Ginger may also help to prevent cancer and helps to fight infections.
- Helps Nausea – Many people use ginger to treat nausea like morning sickness and sea sickness.
- Lowers Cholesterol – Ginger has been shown in many studies to reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol and has even been shown to lower blood sugar levels.
- Helps the brain – Studies show that ginger can help to prevent age-related damage to the brain and improve brain function in elderly people.
- Can help to treat chronic indigestion and pre-menstrual aches – Food containing ginger leave the stomach quicker, beneficial for people who suffer from indigestion. It may also help reduce pre-menstrual pains if taken at the start of the menstrual cycle. It has shown to be as effective as taking drugs like Ibuprofen.
Ginger is most certainly one of those foods worthy of the ‘superfood’ name!
Back to pickle. Enjoy this tangy, spicy pickle with flat breads and of course, a curry or two for company. It also goes down well in sandwiches and I even like it on toast in the morning. Remember, I also eat chillies for breakfast on occasion. I understand that it’s a slightly more intense affair than strawberry jam.
The Bits – Makes 1 jar or serves 4-6
450g carrot (peeled and cut thin half moons – slice anyway you like really as long as its thin)
1 onion (finely sliced)
3 tbs ginger (finely sliced or grated)
3 tbsp oil
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
1 1/2 teas cumin seeds
1 teas coriander seeds (the smaller ones are best)
5 whole dried red chillies (cut in half length ways – more if you love chilli)
1 ½ tsp turmeric
2 tsp salt
5 tbsp unrefined sugar
1/2 lemon (juice)
If you are jarring the pickle and looking to preserve it for a while, sterilise the jars by either boil the jar and lid in a pan of water or bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Add the oil to a large saucepan on medium heat and when hot pop in the fenugreek, cumin seeds and dried chillies. Fry until they pop, a minute or less, then add the carrot, onion and ginger, fry for five minutes.
Add the salt and turmeric, stir and lower heat, cover the pan and leave to cook until the carrot is soft, 20 minutes. Add the sugar and lemon juice stir, warm through for a minute and then leave to cool.
This pickle can be enjoyed once cooled or preserved for later tasty times. It will keep nicely in a sealed container for three days.
With your favourite curry or like I said, good on toast!
See above – we’ve got ginger covered.