Monday, 19 September 2011

Chutney Week - Beetroot & Mustard Pickle

It's that time of year again. I've been spending every spare minute in the kitchen, making pickles, chutneys, salsas, sauces, ketchup's & cheeses (not the dairy kind, the molten, skin-stripping, fruit & sugar kind). So that must make it Chutney week! So I'll be posting a chutney, pickle or relish every day for the next 7 days.
Also a reminder, not that you need it.

Sterilise! Be it boiling water from the kettle, 20 minutes in a hot oven, the steam setting on a dishwasher or gamma radiation. make sure your jars are clean, dry and as sterile as you can get them. Your chutney will last longer, and a cheese toastie won't give you the dread lurgies.

To get things started, here's a favourite of mine, Beetroot & Mustard pickle. It's a bit different from my usual pickles, as there is oil in it, so it is similar to the Indian style of pickles where oil is used to protect the vegetables from exposure to air, rather than a thick sauce of sugar & vinegar. So when you open it, if you're a more restrained individual than myself, and the jar will sit in your fridge for more than 3 or 4 days, pour a little oil on the surface before resealing when you've used it, and it will store for ages. It's also quite hot, and yes, the recipe does say 12 tbs of mustard seed!

Beetroot & Mustard Pickle

1kg beetroot (I used yellow beetroot, but you can use red if you prefer)
175g sugar
150ml white wine vinegar
juice & zest of 1 lemon
12 tbs black mustard seeds
8 tbs groundnut oil (or vegetable oil)
3 tbs tomato puree
3 tsp coriander seed
2 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
4 or 5 chillies, finely chopped (6 if you like it hot!)
thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, finely grated

Grate the beetroot. It will take forever. You will curse my name. It will be worth it, I promise. Toss the beetroot in the vinegar, lemon juice & zest & set to one side. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the mustard seeds & listen. Once they start popping add the other spices. After 2 minutes of stirring, and getting giddy with the smell of frying cumin, add the beetroot & remaining ingredients. Mix well, reduce the heat & cover. Leave to simmer for 25-30 minutes. It will look like there's not enough liquid, but trust me, it's fine.
Spoon into sterilized jars & cover with a little more oil. Seal & stick in the back of a cupboard for a few weeks, preferably a month, before eating.

Om nom nom!

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