Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Torshi-havij (Persian Pickled Carrots)

If you read this blog much then you'll have read how excited I was when I made home made Sugar-Pickled Garlic as part of Iran month. Well - good news! The excitement doesn't stop there because I also made some other pickles! Iranian and other Middle Eastern cuisines love their pickles. I remember the first time I went to a proper Lebanese restaurant and they brought out bread, hummous, baba ghanoush and garlic dip as soon as we sat down. Then they brought out this strange small dish of brightly coloured "things". I had no idea what they were until my Lebanese companions told me they were pickled turnips, radishes and cucumbers.

Like Lebanese cuisine, Iranian cuisine includes a plethora of different pickled vegetables - pickled cucumbers, pickled cauliflower, pickled eggplant, pickled garlic, pickled onions and pickled carrots (read that list aloud really quickly and the word 'pickled' starts to sound really strange!). Although I was tempted to try all these I limited myself to two - pickled garlic and pickled carrots. Both of which I served up to my guests at my Iranian feast as part of the mokhalafat (accompaniments).

These pickled carrots (torshi-havajii) went down really well with my guests (not to mention the fact that they were amazed that I made my own pickles!) and the word that was being bandied about the table as they ate them was "zingy". That describes them pretty well! One of my guests even said it felt like a carbonated drink in her mouth. They're quite strong so I recommend serving them as a side dish with a meal  - but be warned, they will made your meal incredibly special and very zingy :)

1 bunch baby carrots, trimmed and washed (about 100g)
5 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp dried mint
15-20 black peppercorns
1/2 tsp salt
White wine vinegar (quantity will vary depending on the size of the jar you use)

To Make
1. Wash the carrots well (there is no need to peel them, but you can if you want to) and boil for about 3 minutes in boiling water. Remove from the water and allow to cool.
2. Once the carrots are cooled, place them in a jar with a good lid or seal. As you can see from my pics I used a wide preserving jar for mine, but I think it would be better to use a tall and thin jar so that you can stand the carrots up in it without needing to use so much vinegar.
3. Grate the garlic coarsely and add to the carrots in the jar. Add all other ingredients (except the vinegar).
4. Add enough white wine vinegar to the jar to cover the carrots completely. Put the lid on and store in the fridge for at least 3 weeks.

Makes 1 jar.

1 comment:

  1. I love the bright pink pickled turnip pieces:) (not because of the pinkness) - a fish