Christmas pickle

I did loads of cooking over Christmas and new year, but then was too distracted to post anything on the blog. So, here’s an update on how I made Aunty Kuppu’s amazing vegetable pickle for Christmas.

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Cutting up the vegetables was a lot of work, but the actual cooking was easy. I used the blender to make the spice paste, before cooking up the whole lot in a large wok.

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I did make one change from the recipe though. The amount of sugar seemed excessive in this health-conscious age, so – although no one has ever complained – I reduced the amount of sugar in the recipe from 7 1/2 oz to five. It turned out great, with a nice balance of hot, salty and sweet.

It was also pretty spicy. If you don’t like pickle that’s hot enough to make your nose run, then I suggest to reduce the number of dried chillies by about four. Of course, it depends on the heat factor of the type of chillies you’re using.

For scalding the vegetables, I didn’t have the patience to hold successive individual bits in boiling water with a pair of chopsticks, as prescribed. Instead, I dumped boiling water over each batch of cut-up veg in a colander, quickly turning out the lot on a big plate to cool, so the vegetables wouldn’t cook in their own steam.

I’m so glad I made the effort. Aren’t the colours beautiful and festive?

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On Christmas eve we had it with homemade beef rendang. After Christmas, some of us liked it on the side to jazz up the leftover turkey.

I wouldn’t say this is the quickest recipe, but it really makes a meal special. Christmas is over, but hey…Chinese New Year is on the way.

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