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Piccalilli Recipe

A bright-yellow mustard pickle with Indian roots (the colour coming from turmeric); made from mixed vegetables – especially small onions, cauliflower florets and cucumber. It was first mentioned in a recipe in 1694 with the title 'To pickle lila, an Indian pickle'.
It's now a traditional English Mustard pickle. It goes beautifully with cold meats or Cheddar strong enough to stand up to it. But it would destroy the taste of the very best Cheddars – such as Keen's, Quicke's or Montgomery.
Piccalilli improves with keeping and will happily last for months for months in a cool dark place – as long as the jars are sterilised and sealed – once opened, it should be refrigerated.

Key Features

  • Suitable for Vegetarians
  • Suitable for Vegans

Ingredients

Ingredients for about 1.5 kilos/3 lbs):
1 Medium-sized Cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small flowerets
1 Cucumber, headed and tailed, then quartered lengthwise and cut into 1cm/1 ins pieces
250gr/8 oz Pickled Onions, peeled
1 big Spanish Onion, peeled and chopped
6 Green Tomatoes, blanched, peeled, then cut into chunks
250gr/8 oz Coarse Sea Salt
500ml/1 pint Malt Vinegar

For the Sauce:
900ml/1½ pint Malt Vinegar
4 tablespoons (60ml) Mustard Seeds, bruised
a 5cm/2 ins piece of Root Ginger, peeled and finely-chopped
4 cloves of Garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon (15ml) Black Peppercorns, bruised
2 tablespoon (30ml) Turmeric
1 tablespoon (15ml) Dry Mustard
120ml/4 oz Caster or Granulated Sugar
4 tablespoons (45ml) mixed to a paste with 6 tablespoons (90ml) Water

Method

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Put the cauliflower florets, cucumber, baby onions, chopped onion and tomatoes in a non reactive bowl (so not aluminium), sprinkle them with the salt and leave them for 3 hours.
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Drain the vegetables and discard the liquid.
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In a non-reactive pan (large enough to hold all the ingredients) bring the vinegar to the boil. Add the drained vegetable and reduce the heat to a bare minimum.
-
Cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes, or until they are almost cooked when pierced with a skewer or small sharp knife.
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Remove the pan from the heat and drain the vegetables - discarding the vinegar.
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In another non-reactive saucepan, pour the second batch of vinegar in and add the garlic, ginger, mustard, mustard seeds, peppercorns, sugar and turmeric.
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Heat to dissolve the sugar, then bring the vinegar to the boil, stirring frequently.
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Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the liquid into a non-reactive mixing bowl. Discard the solids.
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Return the vinegar to the pan and add the flour and water paste, mix well and slowly bring this to the boil, stirring continuously.
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Simmer for 2 minutes, to take away any flavour of raw flour.
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Remove the pan from the heat and add the vegetables, tossing them carefully until they are all well coated by the sauce.
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Spoon the piccalilli into warm, sterilised jars - either screw top or of a kilner-type. Push the vegetables down so that they are covered with the sauce.
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Keep them in a cool dark place until needed.

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