Gundruk (Spicy Fermented Vegetables) Recipe
This is Nepal’s kimchi, made with the vegetables from the summer harvest and kept as a staple through the colder months. It is also sometimes made into a curry, but this pickle makes a great accompaniment to dhal and rice and adds a tang to your meals. You can also serve it alongside some steamed rice or pilaf, and Masala dahi.
This is also an excellent pickle to put on a burger. Try Paneer, grilled eggplant (aubergine) and Gundruk on your next vegie burger.
Makes: 1 x 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cup) jar
Preparation: 20 minutes + 6 days fermenting
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) Chinese cabbage (wong bok)
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) daikon (white radish)
- 200 g (7 oz) carrot
- 4 tablespoons coarse salt
- 4 spring onions (scallions), cut into 5 cm (2 inch) lengths
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon chilli flakes
- 1 tablespoon mild Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon sichuan peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Cut the cabbage into 5 cm (2 inch) squares, and the daikon and carrot into thin slices about 5 cm (2 inches) long. Place them in a large mixing bowl, add 3 tablespoons of the salt and mix thoroughly. Cover and leave to sit in a warm place for at least 6 hours.
- Drain the vegetables into a colander and rinse well, then return them to the mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, including the remaining 1 tablespoon of salt, along with 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) water. Toss well to combine the vegetables with all the spices.
- Transfer the mixture to a large sterilised jar, gradually pressing down on each layer as it is spooned in, to make it all fit; the mixture will break down with time.
- Place a piece of muslin (cheesecloth) on top of the jar and secure it in place with a rubber band. In the first few days, keep the jar in a bowl, as some of the liquid from the vegetables will overflow.
- After 3 days, seal the jar tightly and leave to ferment in a warm place for at least 3 days.
- Once the vegetables are fermented enough for your taste, store the jar in the fridge. This pickle will keep for up to 4 weeks.
Also from Lands of the Curry Leaf:
- Weralu Achcharu (Olive Pickles) Recipe
- Mesu (Fermented Bamboo Shoots) 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.
Simple Fermented Bok Choy Recipe
Use this pickle on a veggie burger or make it using cabbage, radish, daikon, kohl rabi or other leafy Asian greens.
Rare Fermented Camel’s Milk
Explore one of the world’s rarest ferments, camel’s milk, with an artisan cheesemaker, and get the history of this often-overlooked liquid.
Winter Squash and Kohlrabi Kimchi Recipe
Make a kimchi that both complex in texture and taste by incorporating winter squash and kohlrabi into the recipe.