Shaak-no Sambharo (Quick Pickled Vegetables)

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Shaak-no Sambharo (Quick Pickled Vegetables). Chef MC here. Quick-pickled vegetables are welcomed any time of the year. This mixture works as condiment for a traditional meal made of roti and a sauteed vegetable with daal and rice, but it also can be served alongside dishes like royal chicken cooked in yogurt or paneer butter masala.

Makes 4 to 6 six-ounce jars
Total Time
35 minutes


    • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
    • 4 Tbsp. whole black mustard seeds (or 4 tbsp. store-bought coarsely crushed mustard seeds)
    • 3 Tbsp. whole fenugreek seeds (or 3 Tbsp. store-bought coarsely crushed fenugreek)
    • 1 tsp. asafetida powder
    • 1 Tbsp. ground cayenne (to taste) or 1 large serrano pepper, deseeded, and sliced thin
    • ⅓ cup julienned ginger (optional, see Pre-Prep below)
    • 2-4 Tbsp. white vinegar
    • 2 tsp. kosher salt (optional)
    • 2 cups mixed vegetables, prepped as follows
  1. Preparation

      1. Pre-Prep: Trim fresh vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, radish, and others into bite sized pieces, and no larger than the container they will be stored in. Flash steam firm vegetables like cauliflower and carrots in a colander over boiling water for just a minute or two: the pieces should still be firm. Lay them on a kitchen towel to dry. If using fresh turmeric, cover the chopping board in plastic wrap, and wear gloves. Scrape off the skin with a spoon as you would for ginger and rinse it clean to wash away any tough bits. Pat each fingerling down and slice into thin rounds or to match the ginger, and place on a paper towel to air dry. All vegetables must be dry to touch before pickling. To prepare ginger, peel and slice ginger into eighth-inch-thick slices, and chop them to look like carrot sticks. Spread on a paper towel and set aside to air dry for 15-20 minutes.
      2. If using whole mustard seeds or whole fenugreek seeds, in two separate sets, crush each in a spice mill in short bursts until they each are broken down but not powdered. They should be the consistency of coffee grounds.
      3. Method: Heat the oil in a large, wide mouth saucepan until it is hot but not smoking. Reduce the heat to low. Slowly add all the spices: mustard halves, fenugreek halves, asafetida powder, cayenne pepper if using, along with the serrano pepper if using, and ginger sticks. Add vinegar and salt. Allow this to sizzle for a minute on low. Stir to allow the heat to distribute evenly. When the oil is aromatic, slowly add the trimmed vegetables and stir in well. Turn up the heat and let this cook for 4-5 minutes until vegetables appear to have absorbed the spices a little. Turn off the heat and cover with a paper towel to capture any steam. Allow this to come to room temperature before storing.
      4. To Store: Use smaller (4 – 6 oz.) sanitized and dried glass jars to store the pickle. Using a clean and dry spoon that is smaller than the mouth of the jar, ladle out portions of the pickle into each jar. Don’t worry if you don’t get the oils or juices when first filling the jars. Fill jars at least a half inch below the rim of the jar. Shake them once to allow the pieces to settle. Divide up any of the liquid over each of these jars, taking care that each jar has some of the spicy sauce. Lightly shake each jar to ensure the liquid finds its way into the nooks and crannies of vegetable pieces. Close the lid and store in the fridge. The pickle is ready to eat immediately after it is made, but the flavors are pronounced after a day or two. Serve using a clean and dry fork or spoon for each serving to avoid contamination.
    Do not use finely ground mustard seeds and fenugreek here; you want to retain the texture a bit.


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