Carrots are in season right now! The best thing about winter is the availability of almost every fruit and vegetables. Be it leafy greens, cherry tomatoes or fresh peas. Winter is the season of fresh fruits and vegetables. Although most fruits and vegetables are available round the year, winter being the time for harvest, the best and freshest ones are accessible at very low prices.
The carrot that we get before winters is the orange kind that I am not very fond of. It doesn’t taste very good but is nonetheless indispensable from my kitchen because of my severe love for Chinese food! Or should I say desi Chinese food! The husband is already fed up of eating Fried rice and Manchurian on every dinner date! 😉 Coming back to carrots, the beautiful red variety is available during this time of the year. Gajar ka Halwa is one dessert that makes good use of the carrot abundance during winters.It is not just a treat for the taste buds but also warm and comforting for the body.
Apart from Gajar ka Halwa we can also make this gaajar achaar (Carrot Pickle) that is very easy to make and tastes like sunshine in a bowl! I have always had it since my childhood. It is only now that I leant to make it from my dear aunt. The procedure is absolutely simple but the results are delicious!
Pickles or achaar are always thought of something that are made by mothers and grandmothers! They are an not only an indispensable part of the Indian thali but also have a sentimental value attached! I remember every time I had some homemade pickle during my hostel days, it would bring memories of home! I am sure everyone believes their dadi/nani makes the best aam ka achaar! Although, yes making a perfect batch of pickles with the perfect amount of spices and oil comes with experience, this is a relatively simple pickle to make and has very less chances of not being tasty! In fact having made it a couple of times, I can say this is a fool proof recipe.
- 1 kilogram carrots, washed, peeled and thinly sliced
- 150 grams green garlic, finely chopped
- 3 to 4 green chillies, finely chopped
- 4 to 5 tbsp mustard oil
- 1 tbsp salt
- 3/4th tbsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- Rinse and wipe the carrot slices very well. Spread them on a kitchen cloth and dry in shade. There should be no moisture in the carrots
- Similarly, wash the green garlic stalks before chopping. Let them also dry on a kitchen towel or clean cloth to remove moisture.
- In a mixing pot, add the carrots and green garlic
- In a ladle, heat the mustard oil on medium flame for 4 to 5 minutes. Do not overheat the oil.
- Once the oil gets a little smoky, switch off the flame. Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and mustard seeds
- Pour this over the carrot and garlic bowl
- Add the green chillies to the bowl
- Gently mix it using a mixing spoon
- Once all the ingredients are well combined, put the pickle in a glass or plastic jar
- It will take around 3 days for the pickle to be ready to eat. Shake the jar two-three times everyday.
- It is necessary to ensure that all the ingredients used are dry and have no trace of moisture
- Do not overheat the mustard oil as it will loose its flavour and can also burn the spices
- The pickle can also be stored in a plastic airtight containers but I prefer and recommend glass jars
- Pickles tend to stay better and longer in glass jars. (Also, I personally am on a mission to make my kitchen plastic-free!)
- Shaking the jar two-three times a day ensures even distribution of oil and spices