Turkish-style pickles

Turkish-style pickles

Turşu

By
From
Istanbul
Makes
1 litre
Photographer
Steven Joyce

Pickles are an essential part of the Turkish kitchen and there are pickle shops all over Istanbul. Anything that can be pickled is pickled – grapes, quinces, lemons, baby corn cobs, whole heads of garlic, wedges of cabbage – and some locals even pop out for a late-morning cup of pickles and brine. Pickle shops also sell fermented juices – I’ve tried fermented blackcurrant, which is sweet, fruity and sour and fermented red carrot juice, şalgam, which is intensely flavoured and salty. Some people even drink it alongside raki, Turkey’s aniseed-flavoured national spirit, to prevent hangovers.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
600g mixture of any of the following: shallots or baby onions; garlic cloves; baby carrots or sliced whole carrots; sliced fennel; radishes; cauliflower florets; and hot or mild green chilli peppers
500ml water
50ml cider vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon coriander seeds

Method

  1. Wash and sterilise a large 1 litre jar with a lid. Remove the jar’s rubber seal if it has one, and then place in the oven for 30 minutes at 140˚C. Wash and prepare the vegetables: peel the onions and garlic and scrub and slice (if necessary) the carrots. Bring a small amount of the water to the boil and blanch the chilli peppers, if using. Keep the water.
  2. Pack all the vegetables into the sterilised jar, pressing them down tightly. Add the rest of the water to the chilli-blanching water and bring to the boil. Mix in the vinegar, salt and sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the coriander seeds and pour the pickling mix into the jar and over the vegetables. (If you find there is not enough, mix a little more vinegar and water together at a ratio of 1:10 vinegar to water.)
  3. Cover, leave to cool, then store in the fridge. Leave for 2–3 weeks to mature. Serve alongside spicy meats, with pilaf or with smoked fish.

Tip

  • These pickles will keep for a few months in the fridge and are a delicious counterpoint to rich meat dishes, kebabs or anything served with rice and yoghurt.
Tags:
Istanbul
Turkey
Turkish
Rebecca
Seal
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