IRANIAN SPICED PICKLES
Recipe excerpted from The Immigrant Cookbook, © Interlink Publishing 2018.
Recipe © Katrina Jazayeri 2018
Torsh is the Farsi word for sour; and torshi is a pickle made from vegetables, herbs, and spices. It is served with rich stews and soups in the Persian tradition. When my mom traveled to Iran in 1979 to marry my dad, she would steal away to the cellar where the torshi was stored, and essentially ate nothing else (she doesn't really like rice, the main staple of Persian cuisine). When my Iranian aunts visit us, they fill the kitchen counters with chopped vegetables and herbs laid out on pillowcases, as they prepare a year's worth of torshi to leave behind for us. Look for dried limes in Middle Eastern grocery stores. You can use four pint-size (425 g) jars, two quart-size (1 kg) jars, or any nonreactive containers with tight-fitting lids. You can easily halve or double this recipe.
- 1 eggplant peeled and diced
- 1 dried lime crushed
- 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 3 garlic cloves halved
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 whole Thai bird's eye chili pepper per jar or container
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 large carrot peeled and finely diced
- 1 large cucumber peeled and finely diced
- 1 green bell pepper finely diced
- ½ cauliflower washed, cut into florets
- 2 celery stalks sliced
- ½ cup 1¼ oz/35 g shredded white cabbage
- ¼ cup ½ oz/15 g finely chopped parsley
- ¼ cup ½ oz/15 g finely chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup ½ oz/15 g finely chopped dill
- 2½ cups 600 ml distilled white vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Salt the eggplant pieces and place them on the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggplant pieces with the rest of the vegetables and herbs and mix well.
In a large nonreactive pot, bring the vinegar to a boil, then pour the vinegar over the vegetables in the bowl, mixing to coat them well. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
Pack the cooled mixture into jars or containers, making sure there is a chili in each one, and store in the refrigerator. The pickles are ready to eat after one day. They'll keep for 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.