Winter brings its own favorites and soon the local markets will be flooded with gorgeous red and black (deep purple) colored carrots. Red carrots are commonly used for gajar ka halwa and gajar gobhi shalgam ka achar and black carrots for kanji -just the thought of it is makes my taste buds tickle. Today, I am sharing with you my mom’s recipe that my family has relished for years. We are a pickle-eating family and I grew up eating this achar with makki ki roti and sarson ka saag(recipe coming soon).
RECIPE DETAIL – This sweet and sour achar/relish is made with cauliflower, turnips and carrots. I have used baby carrots for this recipe but feel free to use regular carrots (sliced), baby carrots will get soft in a week. We begin by blanching the veggies in boiling water. Blanching locks in the flavor and freshness of these veggies and cooks them slightly. After blanching, cauliflower, shalgum and carrots should still have a bit of crunch left in them and later toss the veggies in ice water to stop the cooking process.
Since this pickle is made with red carrots and red carrots are not available in our area, I prefer to add beets to my pickle and believe me as this achar ages, beets add a deep rich color to the veggies. In 2 days, cauliflower and turnip have started to turn red (pic above).
Make sure the veggies are completely dried before adding spices to it, took me a full day to dry my veggies. Achar can get moldy if there is moisture left in the veggies. Mustard oil is a natural food preservative but in this pickle, vinegar is used in combination with mustard oil as a preservative and flavoring agent. Toss everything together and transfer it to a clean, sterilized, dry ceramic/glass jar. Place jar in the sun to mature.