When I was a kid, we had yellow curry powder in the house for exactly three dishes: curried
rice with raisins, curried chicken steamed buns and these deliciously addictive curried crab puffs my parents would make for special occasions.
Although very mild as far as heat level goes, the power of that spice has always delighted me – it’s fragrance, flavour and the sunny yellow colour it bestows on all it touches.
That rich colour comes from turmeric, which is a major component of yellow curry powder, along with a host of other Indian spices. Turmeric has gained a lot of popularity lately as a wonder spice, boasting antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Cauliflower also contains similar healing properties, making them an ideal match. As if you needed more excuses to eat these yummy pickles!
Besides being a super tasty snack alone, these pickles make an exotic and dazzling addition to a charcuterie platter, or add a brilliant pop of flavour to a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich.
Dice them up with an apple and a bit of red onion for a fresh chutney topping for chicken or pork chops. The sky is the limit for uses!
As with any pickle canning, the hardest part is waiting the five weeks it takes for optimum flavour development. With these pickles, the curry powder tends to settle at the bottom of the jars – try to shake the jars every few days for the first week to redistribute the powder and colour all the cauliflower evenly.
Curry Cauliflower Pickles
Makes four 500 ml jars
3 ⅔ cups distilled white vinegar
3 ⅔ cups water
2 ½ Tbsp sugar
2 ½ tsp pickling or fine sea salt
2 ½ tsp yellow curry powder
4 small dried chilies
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 head of cauliflower, broken down into roughly 1 inch florets
- Wash the jars and set aside.
- Combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Whisk in the curry powder.
- To each of the four jars add: one garlic clove, one chili and a ¼ tsp of each of the remaining spices. Pack the cauliflower florets into each jar (they should reach nearly to the rim, and be packed fairly tightly). Pour in the hot vinegar mixture, leaving ½ inch of space from the top of the jar.
- Using a wooden chopstick, or by gently tapping the jars against the counter, remove any air bubbles from the jars. Wipe the rims of the jars clean before applying the lids.
- Process the sealed jars in boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove jars and let cool, undisturbed, for at least 12 hours.
- Store in cool, dry place, and don’t open for at least 5 weeks to allow for the flavours to develop.