Pickles are very unique in Indian cuisine. These are not your typical brine pickles seen in the supermarket, instead they are very complex. With a process that involves a mixture of whole and ground spices to flavor and preserve them. I have watched my mother take years to master the art of pickle making. Often laboring over every detail to make sure they can keep up flavor throughout the year on shelf. Me not so much. On the other hand I asked her to help me find something quick, and she suggested I make this Carrot Cauliflower Pickle. which takes the labor intensive part out and gives you a delicious version in under 30 minutes.
Traditionally the tang comes from raw mangoes in this cauliflower and carrot pickle, but they are not as readily available in New York, so I used white vinegar to add acidity. Using robust vegetables like carrots and cauliflower will stay crunchy for at least two to three weeks. Another important thing to remember, you must use fine ground chili powder because that makes a luscious sauce when emulsified with the oil and vinegar which is the best part! Add some turmeric if you have on hand for an extra boost of color and flavor. The grated ginger adds some warm spicy notes which go very well with the carrots and cauliflower.
I like to eat this Carrot and Cauliflower Pickle with yellow lentils and rice with a dollop of ghee (clarified butter) which would be also be my last meal if I had to choose. But this would taste great as a snack with a cold beer or even topped on salads and grain bowls for a quick-lunch. This has been a pantry staple in my fridge for years. I often switch up the vegetables to something that is in season like beets or radish, hope you will make it and love it as much as I do!
Carrot and Cauliflower Pickle (Achar)
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped cauliflower
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons Diaspora chili powder adjust as needed
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup avocado oil or your choice of neutral oil
- 1/4 teaspoon asafetida
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- In a medium bowl, add carrots, cauliflower, white vinegar, chili powder and salt.
- For tadka, heat a small pan over medium heat. Add asafoetida, mustard seeds and ginger until the mustard seeds start to splutter. Then pour this mixture into the bowl with carrot and cauliflower. Using a spoon mix until well combined.
- Serve with dal and rice or use it as a topping on grain bowls or salad.