This Spicy Grilled Zucchini Pickle is Indian in spirit and uses a mild spice blend with vinegar to pickle slices of grill-charred Zucchini.
The pickled Zucchini you see above have been prepared very much in the style of an Indian Achaar, in that it is prepared with oil (although not the traditional Mustard Oil), and made aromatic with a complimentary blend of Indian spices. The major deviation from Indian tradition I have made is that the slices of Zucchini used were first grilled to add a nice smoky taste to the finished pickle.
The Recipe Card below calls for powdered Fenugreek (in this case the powdered seed). You can buy this in any Indian grocery, and even some main-line Supermarkets, but I don’t keep it on hand. It is much better if you grind Fenugreek Seed yourself at home so as to get the maximum flavor. If you are not familiar with this useful ingredient, you can take a look at my short primer on Fenugreek a.k.a. Methi.
First, slice the zucchini into ½ inch thick rounds and toss with the salt. Leave this to macerate in a bowl for thirty minutes or so, then pour off the accumulated water and pat the slices dry.
Next, lightly oil a grill or ridged grill pan and lightly grill the slices on each side until nicely grill-marked. If you can do this on a barbecue, or otherwise over a wood flame, then so much the better.
Toast and then grind the coriander and mustard seeds and mix with the turmeric and powdered fenugreek.
Heat the vegetable oil in a pan over a moderate flame and then add the spice mixture. When the oil froths and the aroma rises, add the garlic and ginger and stir for a minute or so until the garlic has softened
Finally, Add the vinegar and sugar to the oil along with the zucchini slices and continue to stir until most of the steam from the vinegar has stopped rising. Allow the mixture to cool and then transfer to a suitable receptacle. You can chill in the refrigerator if you like but you will need to allow the pickle to come back to room temperature before serving.
This preparation is what one might term a ‘Quick-Pickle’ in that it is designed more for use within a few days rather than for long term storage (although it does keep quite well if you add sufficient oil to keep the solids completely covered.
It makes a nice relish-style accompaniment to a meal of curry and rice, or with Roti and other pickles or small dishes for a nice snack (see my Simple Roti Recipe, if you like).
Your Recipe Card:
Spicy Grilled Zucchini Pickle
- 1 Medium Large Zucchini;
- ½ tsp. Salt;
- ½ tsp each Coriander and Black Mustard Seeds;
- ½ tsp each Turmeric and powdered Fenugreek Seed;
- 1 Tbsp. minced Ginger;
- 2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped Garlic;
- 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil;
- 1/4 cup Vinegar;
- 1 Tbsp. Sugar.
- Slice the Zucchini into rounds, sprinkle with salt, and macerate for 30 minutes.
- Drain off exuded water from the Zucchini, pat the slices dry, then grill at moderately high heat to produce dark grill lines on each side of the slices.
- Toast and then grind the coriander and mustard seeds and mix with the turmeric and powdered fenugreek.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a pan over a moderate flame and then add the spice mixture. Cook until the mixture starts to froth and add the Garlic and Ginger.
- Stir in the Zucchini and Vinegar. Cook until the Vinegar has all but evaporated then transfer the contents to a suitable container.
- Keep refrigerated until needed.