Monday, April 27, 2015

Quick Zucchini Pickle

Indian pickles are totally different from what the western world refers to as pickles! The only similarity is that both use brine to preserve some vegetable over a period of several months to several years. Most Indian pickles are red in color and are eaten as a condiment with a meal in minuscule quantity. One just cannot consume pickle in large quantities as they are really fiery hot! The red color of the pickle comes from the red chillies that is one of the primary ingredients in the pickle. Other ingredients include a variety of spices that are used like mustard powder, asofoetida, coriander powder etc. The pickles could be made using brine or oil as a preservative. There is no other preservative used in Indian pickles. They are usually preserved in huge earthen jars. Now-a-days, glass bottles are used. Needless to say, Indian meals are incomplete without a pickle.


The pickle I made today is the simplest and easiest one. By now, I am sure that everyone who reads my blog knows that I don't make anything that is time-consuming ,tedious or complicated!  This pickle can be ready in 15 mins. Most of the time, great care is observed while making pickles to ensure that everything is dry: the hands, the pots and spoons used, the ingredients used etc. Any use of regular water can make the pickle go bad and reduce the shelf life of the pickle.Only brine is the liquid used. I didn't use brine, but I haven't used water either! I have ensured that everything was absolutely dry but I know that my pickle will not have a long shelf life since I didn't use brine. I have therefore made a very small quantity as I didn't intend to preserve it for long. I wanted something for immediate use and that's what I made. It should last me for a week in the fridge.

This recipe is from my aunt, whom I fondly call Pushpa Mahve, who is a very talented and innovative cook as well. Like me, she loves to experiment in the kitchen. This zucchini pickle recipe has been kindly shared by her. This is a basic Mangalorean konkani pickle recipe where the main spices used are mustard powder and hing. This recipe has been modified a little and is absolutely delicious!

Servings: makes one 10 oz bottle


Zucchini: 1 small
Kashmiri Red chilli powder : 1/4 cup
Hot red chilli powder: 2 tbsp 
Haldi ( turmeric powder): 1/2 tsp
Mustard powder: 1/4 cup
Hing: 2 tsp
Methi( fenugreek seeds) powder: 1/8 tsp
Salt: 1 tbsp( adjust as per taste)
Lemon juice: 1/4 cup



Chop the zucchini finely . 

Add this to a bowl with salt and lime juice.

In another bowl, mix together chilli powders, haldi, mustard powder,methi powder, hing and salt.

Now add this to the zucchini.

Mix well.

Store in a dry airtight glass jar. Lasts for upto one week in the refrigerator.

Can be consumed immediately, but tastes better the next day.


Cooking made easy:

To increase the shelf life of the pickle, one can use brine instead of plain salt.

Raw green mango can be used to make the same pickle. If that is used, skip the lemon juice as mango when raw is sour by nature.

Tip for healthy living:

Any kind of pickle is best stored in glass jars and not in any kind of plastic as the salt in it reacts with the material of the plastic. This could have deleterious effects on our health.

Food for thought:

Food is the most abused anxiety drug. Exercise is the most underutilized anti-depressant. Unknown