I whipped out my box of Cheeta Fight matches and went to the kitchen to make some Sweet and Spicy Vegetable Pickle from Tarla Dalal’s cookbook, Achaar aur Parathe (Pickles and Flatbreads) – the cookbook is in English:

Sweet and Spicy Vegetable Pickle

Makes 1 ½ cups
Storage: up to one week (refrigerated)

½ cup carrots, diced
½ cup cauliflower, cut into florets
½ cup white radish, diced
2 tablespoons grated raw mango
½ tablespoon roasted fennel seeds, powdered
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ tablespoon coriander powder
¼ teaspoon fenugreek powder
½ teaspoon nigella seeds (kalonji)
¼ teaspoon asafoetida
1 tablespoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon jaggery or brown sugar (Dalal calls for 2 Tblsp.)
¼ cup mustard oil
1 tablespoon salt

1. Blanch the carrots, cauliflower and radish in salted water.
2. Drain and place the blanched vegetables on an absorbent cloth and pat them dry.
3. Heat the oil in a pan and add all the ingredients to it, stirring continuously.
4. Cook till the jaggery has dissolved.
5. Cool and serve immediately or store in a sterilised glass jar and refrigerate for up to a week.

Tarla Dalal is the best-selling cookbook writer in India. She has a website which used to be free and now offers limited access and a weekly email with recipes to those who don’t wish to pay. Her books are systematic, and quite helpful for outsiders like me.

photo by Ramesh Gandhi

Almost all Indian matches and fireworks are made in Sivakasi, here in Tamil Nadu.