Pickling is a delightful., vibrant craft

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HT CITY 14th February 2021pickles


Sweet and sour, pungent , zesty , salty  pickles, may have been  in use since biblical times , for reasons mainly preservation of  perishable food items  owing  to the harsh climatic conditions  . We are living in an online era  where most goods are delivered to our doorstep on a press  of a button which unfortunately has taken away from us the artisanal home cooking of  our  Grandmothers or mothers. I distinctly remember strings of drying turnips, carrots and cauliflower on the terrace for making one of my favorite sweet and sour mix vegetable  pickle ,which my granny would make in winters or quartets of raw- mango drying over muslin cloth in the garden for making the mango pickle in summer which the entire family would enjoy with  freshly baked tandoori roti with home made white butter and  chhaj (home made butter milk garnished with fresh mint from the garden ) . Our  urban millennial   are oblivious to such nostalgia as they have seen only nicely packed food items arranged in beautifully labeled mason jar bottle or fancy tetra pack straight from state of art factories adorning the kitchen shelves  .But,  unfortunately the soul of the food is missing in such  retail items  . I am an advocate of home artisanal traditional cooking ,may it be churning butter milk or making tomato ketchup or humble pickles –which I Call food with a soul .

To indulge you all, I am sharing my wife`s secret pickle recipe, which she learnt from her mom, so we all can take a baby steps to  start making  such artisanal food at home  as a habit

Beetroot pickle

Ingredient s-

1 kg beetroot medium size

1 tsp kosher salt

2 cups malt vinegar

1 cup water

1 cup caster sugar (I use brown sugar for health reasons)

4 cloves

1 bay leaf

2 tsp caraway seeds






In a pan add water just enough to cover the beets


Rinse the beets and shorten the root and top

Cook in pan with water till little soft but ensure that they are not over cooked. Peel them.

In a non reactive sauce pan add all other ingredients to the vinegar and water and bring it to boil and remove from heat

Cool at room temperature


Put all the beets in  sterilized glass jar and pour in the  pickling solution  in the jar

you may top with boiling water if the solution is not enough to immerse all beets


Seal the jars at room temperature and let the beets rest for a week before using




First chef from India to be invited to Le cordon Bleu to demonstrate in Paris. Monish is credited with the trailblazing turn-around of Moti Mahal, from being a small but iconic presence in Delhi, to becoming a multi-national corporation that is well on its way to defining how the world eats Indian food. A traditionalist, Monish has remained true to the signature dishes that made Moti Mahal a legend, while reinventing the dining experience into one that is exciting and avant garde to suit modern sensibilities.

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