I adore Indian food. The spices, bright colors and flavors could sustain me and bring joy to my palate for eternity. I never tire of the deep rich combining of so many ingredients to make one dish. Carrot pickles are one of those complexly layered side dishes that not only delight visually, but also in flavor. There are lots of ingredients, but once you have them all measured out, it only takes a few minutes to make these and they keep for at least two months in the fridge if you don’t share them. The problem I have is when people tastes them, they just want more and more and soon they are gone.
My friend and writing mentor Monica Bhide shared my recipe for Carrot Pickle in the Washington Post a few years ago. Not much has changed in my recipe. It is a classic that everybody raves about.
8 carrots, peeled and cut into julienne
¾ cup canola oil
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and rough chopped
4-6 small red chiles (depending on how hot you like it)
6-8 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons mustard seeds (I use brown, but black is fine too)
1 tablespoon methi (fenugreek) seeds
1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon of fennel seeds
A hand full of curry leaves
2 tablespoons urad dal
1 teaspoon chili powder (hot)
1 tablespoon turmeric
A pinch of hing
4 tablespoons grated jaggery (or Thai palm sugar)
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons vinegar (apple cider or white vinegar)
Lay carrots on a thick towel and roll and squeeze to remove all the water.
Puree the onion, ginger, chiles and garlic together in a food processor or mortar and reserve.
In a wok, heat the oil.. Add mustard seeds, methi seeds, urad dal, cumin and fennel seeds.
When they sputter, add 1 large onion, a chunk of ginger, and 4-5 garlic cloves that have been pureed together.
Throw in the curry leaves and fry the mixture until light golden brown. Lower the heat and add chilli powder, turmeric, cumin powder and a pinch of hing.
Add jaggery and salt.
Turn off the heat and add vinegar. Taste and adjust the spices – you want it to be hot chilli wise, but slightly sweet and sour from the sugar and vinegar. Mix in the carrots, place into a clean glass jar and store in the fridge. This will keep for several weeks. The recipe can be doubled so you can share some!
Oh, Devany, so many recipes to buy–but so many delciious flavors to taste! This looks wonderful.
I meant ingredients, not recipes. My brain is not all there today.
I made this yesterday skipping the methi — I love the leaves fresh and dried, but seeds tend to make everything too bitter — and the urad dal and, I can’t imagine this will last beyond a week in my fridge. It’s good and will definitely make it again.
I was wondering about what do you do with the urad dal though, are you supposed to put them in raw? Whole? Ground? I skipped adding them because I was worried about hurting my teeth and, possible spoilage. And the coriander do you fry it up with the cumin/fennel/methi, or added with the ground spices later?
Hi Dewany, most attractive most attractive and delicious looking recipe,will definitely try this-love making pickles
Thank you so much Lallie, Glad that you are enjoying the blog!
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Very yummy and beautiful recipe
Thanks for sharinRegards
Definitely going to try this delicious Pickle love the flavors that go into it.
This is different to what I make
Hope you like it!