When we were staying at Tracebridge, Katie served cream of cauliflower soup which she recommended eating with a forkful of piccalilli. I had never heard piccalilli (and I accidentally kept calling it Piccadilly) however it was the perfect accompaniment for the rich cream of cauliflower soup.
Traditionally piccalilli is an English interpretation of an Indian-style pickle. And this recipe is based on Katie’s fermented version of an English version of an Indian-style pickle. Having never tried an actual jarred piccalilli, Katie assured me that it is fairly different from her lactic acid and salt flavoured condiment. Apparently store-bought piccalilli is sweet and vinegary. Regardless, the flavours all remain the same once you distill the recipes. And if you like a sweeter piccalilli, then simply add sugar or honey at the end of the ferment.
- 1 large cabbage, shredded
- 3 cups of finely diced seasonal vegetables (see notes)
- 1 red onion diced
- 2 teaspoons of yellow mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2-3 tsp salt (non-iodized)
- 2 tbsp freshly grated turmeric root (see notes)
- 1 tbsp of diced red chili (optional)
- Sugar or honey (for after fermentation is finished -optional)
- Grate and dice all vegetables.
- Mix vegetables with salt and spices (not sugar/honey) in a big bowl with a wooden spoon. If you typically use your hands to mix leave out the turmeric and chili until you've finished using your hands, then mix in.
- Pack mixture into jars leaving at least 2" of head room. Use a spoon to really pound all the veg into the jar. If you pack it down enough, liquid will be pressed out of the vegetables. You want enough to cover the veg, and it's important to fully pack the veg into the jar, because air bubbles increase the risk of contamination. Don't worry if you don't have enough liquid right away, it should produce it within 24 hours. So you can to leave your cabbage to sweat a bit then pack it down again.
- Leave the jar to ferment somewhere cool (around 18 C if possible) and out of the sun.
- Allow to ferment for at least 1 week or up to 7 weeks, though I often just permanently leave my ferments in a cupboard since I'm short on space in my fridge).
- Store it in the fridge to stop the fermentation.
- If you want a sweet piccalilli, mix in a little sugar or honey before serving (to taste).
-Traditional vegetables to include in a piccalilli are: cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, green beans, zucchini, sweet peppers, fennel. Use what ever is growing fresh in your garden (or grocery store).
-Grate the turmeric on a glass plate and wear gloves if you can! It is very good at dyeing everything yellow.
-I usually use a fido. You could also use a mason jar with an airlock or pickle-nipple lid. Or if you want to go low tech, just use a mason jar with a weight to keep the vegetables below the brine. See fermentation basics for more info.