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.
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