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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Recipe of the Week - Do you like Piccalilli?

I almost didn't post up the recipe becaue I don't like pickles and chutneys. Then I thought this is like licorice - just because I don't like piccalilli doesn't mean that there aren't hundreds of people who do. So here is the recipe for those who do.

The origins of this familiar mustard-coloured pickle and its name are open to conjecture. Recipes date from the 18th century and because of the inclusion of spices they may have developed with Britain's expansion into India and the East. The most likely explanation is that the name is a pun on the words pickle and chilli.

1lb peeled button onions
1lb 8oz cauliflour florets
1lb 3oz chopped cucumber or courgette
1lb chopped green beans
3 red chillis cut into strips
Half a teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons mild curry powder
2 tablespoons mustard powder
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons allspice
2 tablespoons ground ginger
8oz sugar
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
3 oz plain flour
2 and a half pints of malt vinegar

Add 3oz salt to 2 and a half pints of water and bring to the boil in a large pan. Add the vegetables and blanch for 5 minutes then drain well and run under cold water to cool. Put the sugar, flour and spices (except for the peppercorns) into a bowl with 3 or 4 tablespoons of vinegar and stir to form a paste. Put the rest of the vinegar, the peppercorns and the spice paste into a large pan and bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Lower the heat and cook for a little while until the sauce begins to thicken. Keep stirring! Take the pan off the hob and let it cool, stirring to get rid of any skin that may form. Combine the sauce and the vegetables in a clean bowl and leave in a cool place for 24 hours. After that make sure that the vegetables are mixed in well and covered by the sauce.. Bottle and label. For best results leave the mixture to mature in a cool, dark place for a couple of months.

Now that does look tasty...


Kim said...

I LOVE pickles, chutneys and relishes. Back home in NZ they are readily available, here, where I am in the U.S., not at all. I've been looking for some good recipes for them for a while and this one sounds like something Dad used to make when we were kids so I'm probably going to give it a go. You've made my Sunday morning. Thanks so much Nicola!!

Keira Soleore said...

I have never made pickles other than beets in vinegar, but this I want to try, because it looks tasty and you have good instructions. Have you made it many times?

*printing it out*

Nicola Cornick said...

Kim. I'm so pleased! This is an old Yorkshire recipe and it sounds good.

I must admit that I haven't ever made piccalilli, Keira, but both my m-i-l and my aunt are keen pickle and chutney makers so I'm sending this to them. I love spices but somehow the combination with the onions and vinegar makes piccalilli a non-starter for me!

NinaP said...

I'm with you, Nicola. Spices are good, but vinegar anything is a non-starter for me.