Winter has left Kolkata, fans are on all day long. But, there are some left out winter vegetables in the market, being sold at quite a low price. My Didu (maternal grandmother) used to buy a good number of cauliflowers from the market during this time of the year, cut those into small florets, treated with salt and some other spices (which I can’t remember now) and dry them up in the sun.
These cauliflowers remained intact for more than 3-4months, retaining the same color and texture. Those days have gone passed a long time back; you can get any kind of vegetable at any time of the year. Though my mom insists that seasonal vegetables should be had at that particular season, leaving out the good exception of potato, though harvested in winter its eaten all year round. [Potatoes and Bengali cuisine are closely related; there are so many authentic bengali recipes that feature potato that it seems there had been a marriage between these two].
Steal the Pickle (Achar churi)
Remember the jars of pickles lined up on the roof, a little hands approaching to steal a handful? And there came the bigger hand in between the little hand and the jar of tangy pickle. The fear coated adventure of stealing pickle in the summer afternoon is one of the best memories I have of my childhood. Mom never allowed to have pickles and so stealing and having pickles had an extra feeling of happiness, if not I got caught.
Love thy Neighbor
Coming back to cauliflowers, my neighbor knocked the door this morning with a plate full of lovely looking cauliflowers. When asked she said that it’s the cauliflower pickle she made. It looked so lovely and I just couldn’t resist but pick up a small floret and put it straight into my mouth. I have never tasted such an awesome pickle.
I asked for the recipe and she was kind enough to share the recipe of Cauliflower Pickle (Gobi Achar, in Hindi). And, I thought of sharing this bengali pickle recipe with you. Prepare it and let me know how you fared.
Ingredients of Cauliflower Pickle:
- Cauliflower (Ful kopi): 1 big size, cut into small florets
- Potato (Alu); 2 medium size, cut into small pieces to complement the cauliflower florets
- Green peas (Mator shuti): ½ cup
- Green chili (Kancha lanka): 8-10
- Raw tamarind pulp (Kancha tetul bata): 2 tablespoon
- Mustard paste (Sarse bata): ½ cup
- Mustard oil (Sarser tel): ½ cup
- Asafoetida (Hing): ½ teaspoon
- Salt to taste
How to prepare Cauliflower Pickle:
- Steam the cauliflower florets, potatoes and green peas together, and drain out any excess water
- Bring the steamed vegetables to normal temperature
- Mix all the ingredients to the vegetables and pour in the oil
- Store in glass container and keep under sun for 2-3 days before the first use
The cauliflower pickle tastes good with warm rice.
Hot Tips – Always use a dry spoon to take out pickle from the jar. The cauliflower pickle can be stored for more than a month.Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email, or Subscribe in a reader