'Gobhi, gajar, aur shalgam ka achaar' or 'Cauliflower, carrot, and turnip pickle' has its traditional roots in Punjab. It's a winter pickle that can be eaten after 7-10 days of fermentation. I didn't know about this pickle till I had it a few years ago at a Punjabi friend's home. It was so delicious - it had all the six flavors (sweet, salty, sour, pungent, astringent, and bitter) and a very umami taste about it! This is one of my favorite pickles because it uses local, seasonal, vegetables that are available during the winter season in Punjab and brings them together in a beautiful way. Here's the recipe (adapted from Nita Mehta's original recipe). It uses less oil and salt. I've added more water than is used in the traditional pickle. I have also replaced regular vinegar with apple cider vinegar to make it healthier.
1 large carrot
1/2 medium-sized cauliflower
1 medium sized turnip
1 tbsp. garlic (grated)
3/4 tbsp. ginger (grated)
1.5 tsp black mustard powder
1.5 tbsp mustard oil
3 caps apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
30 grams jaggery
1/2 cup water (less than)
3/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. red chilli powder
Wash and wipe all the vegetables. Keep aside.
Peel and cut the carrot and turnip into thin, finger-sized strips.
Peel and cut the cauliflower into 3/4 inch florets.
Keep the vegetables overnight on a plate (uncovered/covered with a light muslin cloth) in a cool place in your kitchen.
Next morning, heat mustard oil in a pot. Add the grated garlic and ginger. Stir for a few seconds. Turn off the gas.
Add the vegetables, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, mustard powder, and salt to the oil in the pot.
Melt the jaggery with water. When done, add it to the vegetables.
Add the apple cider vinegar and dried fenugreek leaves.
Give it a good mix.
Transfer the mixture to a clean, sterilized 25 ounce jar. Push the vegetables down with a spatula to ensure that at least 1/4 of the jar is empty. This is critical for pickling.
Let the pickle cool down. Close the jar and keep it on the window sill for the next 7-10 days. Shake the jar everyday and open it once in three days to let the probiotic bacteria in the pickle breathe!
Enjoy after 7-10 days. Store it in the refrigerator afterwards. If you are in India, and do not have a centrally heated home, keep the pickle outside.
NOTE: Pickles are very common in India and are eaten with almost every meal. They open up the taste buds, allowing us to enjoy every taste there is. They are filled with probiotic bacteria that is beneficial for our gut health! Pickles are meant to be in moderation, so don't overdoze on pickles just because they are good for you!