This is probably the simplest possible pickle recipe. I am not much of a pickle-eater, or a pickle-maker for that matter. But there are some achaar* that I love immensely. This is one of them. There are no preservatives in this recipe, so it’s better to make it in small quantities. As for the vegetables, you can use anything from green chillies, carrots, turnips to radishes and cauliflower. There are two other ingredients: salt and rai.
Rai is Indian or Chinese brown mustard (brassica juncea). Its seeds are widely used in Indian pickles. They are much smaller than black or yellow mustard seeds. The leaves and stems of this plant are also edible. In fact, a Sichuan pickle called zha cai is made from the “knobby, fist-sized, swollen green stem” of the same plant.
So, here’s all one needs to do.
1. Chop/slice the vegetables into small pieces.
2. Coarsely grind the rai in a food processor.
3. Combine salt, powdered rai and vegetables thoroughly.
4. Put them in a clean, dry, sterilized jar with a tight lid.
5. Keep the jar out in the sun for 1-2 days, after which it’s ready to eat!
6. Once the pickle is ready, you can keep it in the fridge for a week or so. Enjoy!
*Hindi word for pickle.