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The use of mesu as a pickle and as the base of curries is a long tradition in the hills of Darjeeling and the state of Sikkim in north-east India. Made with fermented bamboo shoots, this very popular pickle has a tangy and sour taste that is hard to forget.
Makes: 1 x 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cup) jar
Preparation: 20 minutes + 6 hours fermenting
- 250 g (9 oz) blanched or tinned bamboo shoots
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 teaspoons chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds, dry-roasted
- 1 teaspoon mustard oil
- 1 teaspoon
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined.
- Spoon into a sterilised jar. Cover the opening with a piece of muslin (cheesecloth), then secure the lid.
- Store in a cool dark place for at least 6 hours, until pickled to your liking; the fermented bamboo shoots will keep for up to 4 weeks. During this time, the flavour will keep getting stronger, and the shoots more tender.
Also from Lands of the Curry Leaf:
- Weralu Achcharu (Olive Pickles) Recipe
- Gundruk (Spicy Fermented Vegetables) Recipe
- Simple Fermented Bok Choy Recipe
Reprinted with permission from Lands of the Curry Leaf: A Vegetarian Food Journey from Sri Lanka to Nepal by Peter Kuruvita and published by Murdoch Books, 2019.