Thursday, 12 April 2012

Iranian Sugar-Pickled Garlic

At the end of last month, when I announced that I would be featuring Iranian recipes all this month in this post, I hinted that you might be seeing something very garlicy from me - well here it is! Sugar pickled whole garlic cloves. You might be thinking that this just sounds a bit too overpowering and strong, but you'll just have to trust me (and all my dinner guests who loved this) when I tell you that it was amazing!

As a cook, I constantly reach little milestones of the development of my skills (I'm sure other cooks are alike),  these are mostly about doing things for the first time by hand (instead of buying things in jars, tins and packets from the supermarket). Things like making my own jam, making my own home made pasta (and then home made ravioli!), making my own pesto varieties or making my own infused spirits! All of these have been small milestones in my development as a cook and here is another one: making my own pickled vegetables!

This Iranian pickled garlic recipe was a great introduction, as it was very easy and didn't need to be stored for a long amount of time (as the garlic was cooked). This allowed me to prepare it in time to post as part of this month's Iranian recipes.

I served this pickled garlic and my torshi-havaj (recipe to come later!) to my dinner guests as part of mokhalafat (traditional Iranian table accompaniments) and it went down so well with my guests that some of them went so far as to say that it was their favourite dish of the night!

What is your favourite pickled vegetable?

Sugar Pickled Garlic
Adapted from

3 whole heads of garlic
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup water
8 whole cloves
20 black peppercorns
1/2 tsp salt

To Make
1. Peel all the garlic cloves (I know! This is a pain but worth it!).
2. Place peeled garlic cloves with all other ingredients in a small saucepan. Place over a medium heat.
3. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
4. Remove lid and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
5. Transfer to a glass jar with a tight lid and store in the fridge for at least 3 weeks before serving (1-2 months optimum).

Serve as an accompaniment, add to wraps and salads, add to a cheese platter or antipasto platter.


  1. This sounds really interesting! I'll have to try this out. I don't think I've ever had Iranian food but this would be a good test recipe :)

    You have a few awards waiting for you!

  2. Okay. The real Iranian pickled garlic has no sugar. However its super sweet. If you just pour vinigar on garlic and store it for a year in a jar at room temprature you will have super sweet pickled garlic.