Pickled Mystery

Last week my husband discovered an Indian produce store. Since he is just as much a curious cat as I am, he came home with a huge “cool bag” (we go grocery shopping with reusable bags that keep temperature for a couple of hours) of interesting, albeit mysterious vegetables. He expected me to make sense of them.  Only one of them, a long white thing with a green leafy plume, looked somewhat familiar, and – lucky me! – he snapped a picture of it with a name, Muli. I went to my trusty Google which said, “Hey, it’s just a radish, and it’s cooked.” I’ve never heard of cooking radishes, so I went to my more than trusty  – and much admired! – fellow blogger Sumith Babu of Keralas.live and asked if this radish was anything like Daikon, and if I could just treat it the same way.  Sumith said that IT WAS Daikon radish. One mystery solved, and one salad in the making. For the recipe of Daikon Salad, please click here.

There was still the issue of the green leaves which I temporarily put on the side in order to figure out some other leaves. Those looked like basil, but not exactly basil, and had a purplish red tint. Cautiously, I tasted a bit of a leaf. Basil! Red basil? Wow! Google to the rescue. Apparently, it is called Holy, or Sacred Basil, and I would not presume, but will appeal to fellow bloggers who are knowledgeable to enlighten me. I figured, maybe stir-frying those Muli greens together with some of the brighter red and purplish basil leaves, plus grating some ginger and some white turmeric, also found in the “cool bag,” will make either a salad or a side dish. So I iced and salted them, like I do with all herbs and greens, and put them on the side. For a method of preserving fresh herbs, please click here.


Meanwhile, the next thing I found was a couple of dozen of miniature cucumbers. You can see how tiny they are: I am holding one, and I have really small hands. “Great, – I said, – I am pickling the whole bunch of them.” So I got my pickling jar ready, I washed them, I cut one lengthwise, as I do with Kirby cucumbers, and – surprise! They were NOT pickles; rather, they looked like miniature zucchinis. No name, of course, so I couldn’t Google, nor could I ask fellow bloggers.  A quandary. Well, as I’ve already remarked, quandary is not a place where I stay for long. I made a decision to experiment. I decided to treat some of them as zucchini, and some as cucumbers. Sumith, Priya, and other experts, are you laughing your heads off now?

The first part of the experiment I, unfortunately, did not photograph. I cut about a dozen of those little green things lengthwise and stir-fried them together with Muli greens and red basil leaves, with ginger and turmeric, and some other seasoning that I will save for an actual post when I make it again and take pictures. However, the second part was truly the easiest. I generally tend to pickle every vegetable I can lay my hands on. So I pickled these babies exactly the same way I pickle everything else. For my pickling recipe, please click here.  The only difference was, I decided, totally on a whim, to add maybe a quarter cup of the pink brine that I was pickling ginger in. I thought, geographically these veggies are sort of close to each other,  so they should be friends. A pinkish hue and a ginger tang will only enhance whatever the final product will be.

It did. It did so well, that I never had a chance to take pictures. My husband, the curious cat, was tasting to see if they were ready, and there was only a handful of them, and they were soooo tiny…

In summary, he just brought me a couple of pounds of TINDORA, or IVY GOURD, and I am pickling the entire batch. Oh, and I pickle ginger the same way, but to make it pink and sweet, I add some beet juice, about 1/3 of the amount of water, and eliminate garlic. I did use garlic with Tindora pickles, though, and it was great. So guys, any ideas what to do with Tindora, other than stir fry or pickle? Who wants to do a guest post on my blog?

I thank you in advance for all your future contributions!




14 Comments Add yours

  1. I’ve never managed to pickle anything. Probably because everything gets eaten too quickly. I love Indian dishes, but pickling things scares me. Eating pickled things doesn’t. This is an interesting post, I’ll explore my local Asian delicatessen more (I actually go there to buy herbs and fish for the dogs, surprise, surprise).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. If you have a sunny spot in your kitchen, just follow my recipe, and you’ll have “pickled things” ready in one day! My kitchen window is facing north which is considered a great advantage in Florida, but it lengthens the pickling time considerably.


  3. I’ve seen mini cucumbers but this one is different. I wonder what it really is.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s not a cucumber at all, it’s a gourd. It’s called Ivy Gourd, and when I get tired of stir frying and pickling, I’ll try to do something different with them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Masala Vegan says:

    😊😀😄 First off, congratulations on your intrepid explorations! The ivy gourd/ tindora/ tendli (as it’s called around my parts) should make excellent pickles. My mum used to make a slightly different version with a fenugreek, red chillies and spice paste in oil 😊 Love to do a guest post and try out this version too!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Masala Vegan says:

    Oh I forgot to say, you can also make a Rice Pulao dish with the gourd 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Priya, thank you so much! Any time you are ready with the guest post, just let me know. I am so excited to host your recipe on my blog! You might have noticed that none of my recipes are real hot and spicy, and I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I usually serve hot peppers on the side for those who like it hot. Your recipe with hot chilies will definitely fill the gap and will be much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love it! I am inspired to try pickling!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Go for it – good luck! Fermented foods are the best, especially for your daughters, but no vinegar – just boiling water and salt.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Deepak Singh says:

    Thanks for this. I too, doesn’t know what to make of Muli.:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now I do, and I plan to experiment some more.


  9. We use muli to make stuffed bread and eat it with Chutney.


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