It’s that time of the year here in Southern Hemisphere part of the world. The mornings and nights are chillier and it’s raining a lot. The winter is at our doorstep. This time of the year reminds me of hot and fragrant nepali tea (Chiya), foggy kathmandu mornings and glorious sun in the afternoon. Me and my mom used to get busy around the kitchen making preserved pickles with daikon radish, tomato, chillies, cauliflower, cucumber and many more. I love to make these as they are great accompaniment with rice, curries and lentils (bhat, daal ra tarkari).
The afternoon sun is ideal to dry these vegetables and the pickles after they are bottled. The cold mornings and nights helps to preserve it perfectly.
Now I’m here in a different part of the world and I still love to make these pickles in my kitchen. It’s part of my upbringing, my culture and heritage. And the taste that always remains favourite regardless of geographic boundaries.
It used to be hard to get these ingredients at supermarkets before due to us being a minority. As these ingredients are not Aussie cuisine staples, it was hard to find it 14 years ago. It’s a completely different story now. Due to major boom in migrations, it can be found easily on supermarket shelves to cater for these group. Also you can find lots of authentic grocery stores (Nepali) popped up in every burb where you can get your hands on these ingredients quite easily.
I’m sharing one of an authentic pickled radish recipe which is loved by most nepali. And it’s one of my favourite too.
2 medium size white daikon radish
1 clove of garlic ( cut in half)
10-15 whole fresh green chillies
1 cup of grinded mustard seed
Salt as per taste
1 tablespoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 cup of vegetable or mustard oil
Cut radish into 1 inch batons. If possible dry radish in the sun for a day or two. (If fresh radish is used, it will results in juices coming out of it and makes the pickles liquidy). Also oven can be used to dry and dehydrate.
When radish is dry, put it in a bowl with other ingredients. Add ground mustard, chillies, salt, turmeric powder and oil. Mix well.
Fill the mixture in a jar or two making sure it’s packed tightly. Seal the lid with a clear wrap and tighten the lid to ensure it’s air-tight. Leave it somewhere in warm and sunny area. The pickle will be ready in 5-7 days.