When we were staying at Tracebridge, Katie served cream of cauliflower soup which she recommended eating with a forkful of fermented piccalilli. I had never heard of piccalilli (and I accidentally kept calling it Piccadilly.) However, it was the perfect accompaniment for the rich creamy flavour of her cauliflower soup.
Traditional piccalilli is an English interpretation of an Indian-style pickled relish. This recipe is based on Katie’s fermented version of piccalilli. However, I had never tried store-bought piccalilli, and Katie assured me that it is fairly different from her lactic acid and salt flavoured condiment.
Intrigued, I explored other piccalilli recipes, which are much more sweet and vinegary. I particularly liked the River Cottage version of piccalilli. So my fermented piccalilli recipe is a mash up of these two very British recipes. The result is a sweet and fermented relish that is delicious with pakoras, cheese or at a barbecue.
Piccalilli is a British-style Indian relish that is salty, sweet, spicy and sour. Fermented piccalilli is made with seasonal vegetables. It is perfect with dosas, in a cheese sandwich or served at a BBQ.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 2 quart jars 1x
- Category: Pickles
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: British
- 1 medium head of cabbage
- 3 cups of finely diced seasonal vegetables (see notes)
- 1 red onion
- 2 teaspoons of yellow mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2–3 tsp salt (non-iodized)
- 2 tbsp freshly grated turmeric root (or turmeric powder)
- 1 tbsp of diced red chili (optional)
- 1 cup water (chlorine free)
- 1/4 cup of honey
- 1/4 cup of cider vinegar
- Grate or finely dice all of the vegetables.
- Mix vegetables with salt and spices in a big bowl with a wooden spoon.
- Pack the vegetables into 2 quart jars, leaving at least 2″ of head room in each jar. Pour 1/2 cup of water into each jar. Use the spoon to pack the vegetables down so they are below the brine.
- Top the vegetables with a weight to keep them below the brine. Let them ferment somewhere cool-ish and dark for 3 to 5 days. (A cupboard is fine.)
- After the fermentation has finished, drain the excess brine from the vegetables (or reserve it as a culture for future ferments.)
- Empty the jars into a big mixing bowl. Mix in the honey and cider vinegar.
- Taste the piccalilli and add more honey and cider vinegar if you want.
- When the piccalilli tastes good, pack the vegetables back into the jars and store them in the fridge.
- The piccalilli is meant to be a sweet, fresh ferment. If you want an Indian flavoured sauerkraut, I recommend trying my turmeric spiced sauerkraut.
- Traditional vegetables to include in a piccalilli are: cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, green beans, zucchini, sweet peppers and fennel.
- I recommend grating the turmeric on a glass plate and wearing gloves if you can! It is very good at dyeing everything yellow.
- I usually ferment in a fido jar (affiliate link.) The most important thing is to keep the vegetables from being exposed to air, so if you are just using a regular mason jar be sure to have a good fitting weight.
Keywords: vegan, gluten free, sweet, sour, summer, curry, Indian