[gaa jur ka uh char] (hindi)
The last time I paused, it felt like April and it is time to bid goodbye to spring already, summer is almost here.
I didn’t mean to leave you without a post for these many days. It is just to do with more daylight. There’s more room in a day to be outside, at the nature center, on a day trip to another town or country side or even to watch the Longhorns walk into their stockyard!
How can I forget to mention the main thing? – luxury of the farmer’s market where shopping for fresh veggies is not just an act of picking and dropping into one’s cart, it is an experience for the senses.
How many times do you get to see carrots like these in the regular supermarket? That’s what I am talking about.
Normally I think of a recipe and then buy the ingredients. This time it was the opposite. These carrots as the name goes, were so colorful, I bought them first with the thought of making something later.
Because I wanted to retain the vibrant colors, I had to make something with them sans the cooking. Salad was quite the obvious choice and this one came with a twist.
While I was contemplating what to make of these, I had been to a Gujarati restaurant the other day. Feasting on the buffet, a pickle caught my attention like no other. While relishing its crunch, I had the perfect food for thought, and from there comes this dish. So, with my mom-in-law’s help, I’ve reverse engineered the recipe based on its taste.
During the growing up years, pickle would make the difference between a well finished plate of food or not. My mom is quite the expert when it comes to pickles, it comes almost naturally to her. She would make all kinds of pickles and does even now – green mango, lemon, citron, gooseberries, whole baby mangoes, bitter melon, you name it.
We ate all kinds of them as yogurt (curd) rice would seldom go down the throat without some help from a spoonful of pickle. It was as if pickle and yogurt were made for each other.
So, even though the rough definition of pickle to me largely revolves around those tastes I’ve associated growing up, with a greater exposure to different cuisines now, there is a growing awareness in me, of so many other great pickle recipes.
One such category is that of vegetable pickles. Every regional cuisine, I am sure has some version or the other of its own. If you haven’t or don’t prepare them yourself, you must have at least noticed or tasted them in Indian restaurants. They are usually seated in the accompaniments section along with salads, relishes, dips and the like.
Nope? Never mind. It is so easy to make, it is a DIY dream-come-true recipe!
South Indian pickles are either mustard or fenugreek based as the spices of choice are either ground mustard or ground fenugreek apart from red chilli powder or ground cayenne pepper and are named accordingly. I might even be posting one such recipe shortly. So watch this space shortly.
This carrot pickle recipe is from North India where white mustard is commonly used unlike black mustard in the South. Owing to its texture, carrot is a perfect fit for this kind of instant pickle. Quick to make, spicy and crunchy, it is a great accompaniment for rotis or rice.
I love the crunch. Seriously, I don’t think a pickle can get any easier than this.
It is as simple as chop, toss and bite!
What is your favorite kind of pickle and your memories of it?
Gajar ka Achar | Instant Carrot Pickle Recipe
Things you’ll need:
- 7-8 small slender Carrots (I used farmer’s market rainbow carrots)
- 2 long green chillies, slit lengthwise, seeded optionally
- 1 tsp yellow mustard, freshly crushed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- pinch of turmeric
- sea salt
How it’s done:
Wash carrots, pat dry, peel, trim the ends and julienne to 1/4″ thick and 2-3″ long pieces.
Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss well to coat uniformly.
Adjust seasoning for taste and serve immediately with either roti or rice.
Note Stores well in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, in an air tight container