Two in one
Chillies can be preserved in oil , vinegar or fermented to make fantastic pickles. Chilli pickles made by fermentation or preserved in vinegar are a real bargain. You are, in fact, getting two products in one. Firstly the actual preserved Chillies themselves, and secondly, Chilli infused vinegar. The pickled Chillies are great as snacks, with grilled meats or Doner Kebabs. Chilli infused vinegar is fantastic for adding flavour to stews like Feijoada, Collard greens or drinks like Bloody Marys.
Recipes for Chilli pickles
About pickled Chillies
Pickling is as old as the hills. It is thought that the Mesopotamians pickled cucumbers as far back as 2400 BCE. The process became an important part of preserving food. Indeed besides using salt as a preservative, pickling was probably the only other alternative.
Christopher Columbus was a great fan of pickled vegetables. He took them on his journeys around the world. Not only did pickled foods travel well, but they also helped prevent scurvy. Christopher Columbus would undoubtedly have taken pickles with him when he landed up in the West Indies. It was there that he encountered Chilis for the first time. After he brought Chillies back to Europe, it would certainly have not taken long for pickled Chillies to become part of the scene.
Today pickled Chillies are to be found all around the world. Indeed, they are found in countries (to name a few) like Thailand ( Nam song prik dong), Korea ( Gochu-jangajji) China ( Chinese pickled green Chilli). Turkey ( Tatli Biber), the USA and Mexico (pickled Jalapenos). These pickles are all typically fermented in a brine solution or made with vinegar, spices, soya sauce and sometimes sugar.
Chilli pickles may also be made with oil. Countries well-known for their pickles made with oil include India and Italy (Peperoncini Sott’Olio). Indian pickles made in this may often combine mustard or vegetable oil with various spices like fenugreek, coriander, mustard seeds, black pepper and asafoetida. Examples of Indian pickles made with oil include Hari Mirch ka Achar (green Chilli pickle) and Indian red Chilli pickle