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Gajar Achaar Achar (Carrot Pickle) Recipe
Popular Punjabi carrot pickle in mustard oil and spices
In the olden days, it was called Kali Gajar ka Achar and made with dark purple colored carrots. The Purple carrot was called Kali Gajar. Plenty of hot Green chili pepper were included. We will use regular carrots and Serrano
The carrots are not blanched, this limits the shelf life of the pickle to about 3 weeks after aging of 3 days.
1. Carrots: 1½ Pounds
2. Garlic: 10 Cloves
3. Ginger: 3"x1"
4. Serrano: 15
1. Lime juice: ½ cup
2. Fenugreek seeds: 1½ teaspoon
3. Asafoetida: 1 teaspoon
4. Turmeric powder: 1½ teaspoon
5. Cracked Black Mustard seeds: 1 Tablespoon
6. Ground hot Cayenne powder (Lal Mirch): 1½ Tablespoon
7. Pickling salt: 2 Tablespoon
2. Mustard oil: 1 cup
Step 1 Prepare Vegetables
1. Wash carrots. Scrape and peel. Cut in half crosswise. Quarter each half vertically. You have about 8 carrot sticks out of each carrot. Wash and rinse. Pat dry with paper towel
2. Peel Cloves of Garlic. Slice each clove thin
3. Peel ginger and cut into matchsticks
4. Wash Serrano. Pat dry. Cut each Serrano into half vertically
Step 2 Dry Vegetables
Drying vegetables is most important part. In India, the vegetables are dried in hot sun for about 4 hours when the ambient temperature is about 103º F. We will dry out using an oven, it will take about 2 to 3 hours as follows.
1. Preheat oven to lowest setting about 200º F for 25 minutes
2. Spread the vegetables in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
3. Put the cookie sheet in the oven. Do NOT close the door, leave the door ajar about 2 to 3 inches.
4. After 45 minutes Turn off oven. Do Not remove the tray
5. Remove the tray after one hour
Step 3 Prepare Masala Preserve
1. Combine all ingredients except oil. Bring to a boil
2. Add Garlic Ginger Serrano and Carrots. Stir fry and cook on low for 4 minutes
Vegetative bacteria, yeast and molds must be destroyed by heating to 180º F
3. Turn off heat. Let it cool to room temperature
4. Heat Mustard oil to smoking point. Turn off heat. Let it cool to room temperature. Add to Pickle mixture
Acid prevents the growth of spores of deadly botulism bacteria.
Acidify pickle mixture before adding oil. Oil will coat the exemplar creating a barrier to acid and oxygen making it vulnerable to botulism bacteria.
Step 4 Aging
Transfer the pickle to wide-mouth Pickling Crock (stoneware). Tie cheese cloth to the wide-mouth. Repeat following step for next 3 days, once a day.
1. Remove the cheese cloth. Stir the pickle.
2. Preheat oven to lowest setting about 200º F for 25 minutes
3. Place the crock in the oven for 45 minutes. Keep the door ajar about 2 to 3 inches.
4. Shut off oven. Remove the crock after 30 minutes. Secure the cheese cloth to the wide-mouth.
5. Place the crock on the top shelf of your kitchen cupboard.
Step 5 Storage
Remove the Muslin cloth. Close the crocks with sterilized well fitted lid.
Put the crock away in a cool dry and dark place.
This pickle should be good for 15 days at room temperature or one month in the refrigerator.
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