Pickled vegetables may be the way you can include more vegetables in your everyday diet with much ease possibly. This is for those who hate eating vegetables normally.
You do consume a bit of salt along with pickled vegetables but you can adjust the salt at the time of serving by adding a few elements to balance.
Normally pickled vegetables shouldn't make the staple vegetable intake but since pickling in certain ways causes fermentation and makes the pickle probiotic by lacto-fermentation, it is worth adding some pickled vegetables as a side dish or even in salads to bring some punch.
What is more interesting to know that this way you get cheap home cultured probiotics and once you use some fresh vegetables and whole grains in the meal you feed some prebiotics to your gut flora too. A healthy gut flora is the key to good health.
Moreover, you can pickle almost all vegetables you get in any season and pickling can be an all year activity on your kitchen counter. Each season has something delicious to pickle. I will definitely keep posting more recipes of probiotic pickles for you all.
Right now the winter months bring these gorgeous red radishes and I love pickling them in so many ways. The mustard pickled radish is one of the favorite way to pickle the mature radishes, the tender ones go into this brined pickle that I love heaping my plate with.
You know this way one can balance the meals. I usually make methi paratha using millet flours (mostly a mix of sorghum, amaranth and barley flour) or I add some whole chickpeas flour to the mix sometimes. The paratha is always made in ghee and is served with some full fat home cultured yogurt.
See how in this platter I have combined the paratha meal with a roasted tomato and coriander leaves chutney, some yogurt, some amla subzi (recipe will be shared soon) and loads of pickled radish.
Paratha is anyways healthy if served rightly, but this millet paratha meal has so much vegetables and fiber from whole grains packed into one meal that it makes the meal low glycemic and safe even for those who want to manage diabetes or weight related goals.
Don't worry about the apparent lack of proteins in this meal as sorghum, amaranth and chickpeas are quite a good source of proteins for normal people. Yogurt of course fills in.
Recipe of red radish brined pickle
3 large radishes (preferably red) almost 600 gm
500-700 ml water (quantity of water used depends upon how you chop the radishes and how packed they are in the jar)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp whole peppercorns
Clean, wash and chop the radishes in batons. The batons can be according to the size of the jar you want to stack them into. Or slice them if you like. Stack the batons into clean sterilized glass jars.
Heat the water with the rest of the ingredients till it boils for a couple of minutes. Cool down to room temperature and pour over the radish batons stacked in jars. You may need more water if the batons are packed loosely.
Cover the lid and let the radishes pickle on your kitchen platform for at least 24 hours before serving. The taste and texture stays crisp for about 2 days but it depends on the temperature so refrigerate as soon as the radish batons start getting too soggy. It will still be edible when it gets soggy though.
Serve this radish pickle on the side of an Indian meal or with burgers if you like or inside sandwiches or any which way you like. You might end up munching on them as is.
A great way to consume this radish pickle is to add it to some salad. The pickling liquid will serve as a nice dressing too is mixed with some olive oil etc.
The leaves of the radish make wonderful stir fry that we love as stuffing to our parathas or chapati rolls. The recipe of the radish leaves stir fry is simple.
Recipe of radish leaves stir fry
Just heat some mustard oil (or use any other oil you wish) and tip in some ajwain seeds (Omum seeds), broken dry red chillies and chopped garlic to it. Let them sizzle and then add the chopped leaves of radish. Add salt, mix, cover and cook till the volume is reduced. Then stir and cook for a couple of minutes till the stir fry gets a little dry.
Add everything to taste, the mustard oil brings much flavour to this stir fry we call mooli ki bhurji. The best taste of this bhurji comes when you use red radish leaves but any radish leaves are good. Add some bits of radish too if you want more of this bhurji to savour.
All such leafy greens are great prebiotic foods and if consumed with whole grains and some proteins they make balanced meals.
You see when such parathas are made using alternative flours they can be a meal in itself. And when these paratha meals are served along with some of these probiotic pickles, some full fat yogurt and may be some more vegetables or chutneys or dips on the side they make a satiating and filling meal that keeps you full till the next meal and you don't end up snacking on nonsense things in between.
Oh and the leftover parathas once quartered and reheated on the griddle make nice tea time snack if you wish. eating healthy is not much of an effort if you plan ahead and keep the ingredients clean and simple.
So make your paratha meals healthier with these probiotic salads of the season. Add more vegetable in every meal and see how your body thanks you in return. Say yes to a big paratha meal any day.