If you’re a fan of pickles, then you’re going to love this recipe for Turshi Khiyar – a traditional dish from Iraq. This dish features a unique combination of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds and awaken your senses.
Turshi Khiyar, also known as Iraqi Pickles, is a beloved dish in the Middle East that combines pickled vegetables, such as cucumbers, turnips, and cabbage, with a delicious mix of spices, including curry powder, ground coriander, garlic cloves and more. The result is a tangy, sweet, and spicy medley of flavors that leaves your mouth watering for just one more bite.
As an Israeli chef, I have always been fascinated by the spices and flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine. And while I like to put my own spin on traditional dishes, I always find it important to stay true to the roots of the recipe. That’s why I want to share my take on Turshi Khiyar with you today.
In this recipe article, I will provide you with detailed instructions on how to make this dish at home using easily accessible ingredients. Whether you are new to cooking or have been doing it for years, this recipe will be easy to follow, and the results will be nothing short of amazing.
So put on your apron and get ready to dive into the world of Middle Eastern cuisine with this fantastic recipe – you won’t regret it!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
If you’re a lover of Middle Eastern cuisine, you absolutely have to try Turshi Khiyar. These traditional Iraqi pickles offer a unique twist to the classic pickle, elevating the humble cucumber to new heights of flavor and crunch.
First of all, let’s talk about the spices. Curry powder and ground coriander make up the backbone of the seasoning in this recipe, infusing each bite with a warm, aromatic flavor that is truly irresistible. The addition of garlic cloves gives these pickles an extra kick of pungent garlic goodness.
And let’s not forget the tangy bite from white vinegar that rounds out each mouthful with just the right amount of acidity. The combination of spices and vinegar is an explosion of flavors that will make your taste buds dance with delight.
But wait, there’s more! With just the perfect balance of kosher salt and sugar, these pickles hit all the right notes for a perfect snack or side dish.
Plus, they are so versatile – serve them with sandwiches or burgers for a refreshing crunch, chop them up and add them to salads for a burst of flavor, or enjoy them as a standalone snack for an instant pick-me-up.
Even better? These pickles last up to three weeks in the fridge, so you can always have some on hand when hunger strikes.
If you’re looking to take your snacking game to the next level or simply want to expand your culinary horizons, Turshi Khiyar should definitely be on your must-try list. Trust me – one bite and you’ll be hooked!
Here is everything you need to prepare Turshi Khiyar (Iraqi Pickles) recipe:
- 1 pound pickling cucumbers
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2 cups water
- You can also add other vegetables to the mix like turnips, cabbage, or bell peppers according to your preference.
Make sure the cucumbers are firm with no soft spots. Also, use unblemished garlic cloves for the perfect flavor. The kosher salt helps in the fermentation process and adds acidity and crispness to the pickle. The curry powder and coriander provide a unique blend of taste, adding an exotic flair to these middle eastern pickles.
The Recipe How-To
Now that you have gathered all the ingredients, it’s time to start pickling! Before diving into the recipe, make sure to wash and scrub the vegetables thoroughly.
Preparing the Vegetables
- Begin by cutting the cucumbers and turnips into thin slices, preferably using a mandolin slicer for consistent thickness.
- If you are using cabbage, cut it into small pieces or shred it.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss together the sliced vegetables with kosher salt until they’re well coated.
- Then transfer the mixture to a colander set over a bowl, and let them sit for about an hour. This step helps draw out excess water from the vegetables.
Making the Pickling Brine
- To make the pickling brine, pour white vinegar into a large saucepan and add sugar, crushed garlic cloves, curry powder, and ground coriander.
- Gently bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Set aside to cool.
Assembling the Pickles
- Take out several clean jars with tight-fitting lids.
- Using your hands, squeeze as much liquid as possible from the pre-salted sliced vegetables.
- Once they are dry enough, divide them among the jars evenly, alternating between sliced cucumbers, turnips, and cabbage.
- Gently pour in enough pickling brine over the vegetables until fully submerged.
- Cover each jar tightly with its lid and keep them in a cool, dark place at room temperature for at least three days before tasting.
Congratulations! You just made yourself a batch of traditional Iraqi Pickles or Turshi Khiyar. Remember that pickles can taste better as they age, so be patient before consuming them all!
Substitutions and Variations
If you’re looking to switch things up with your Turshi Khiyar recipe, there are several substitutions and variations that you can try. For example, you can swap out the cucumbers with other crunchy vegetables like carrots, turnips, or cabbage to create a mixed pickled vegetable dish. These additions will bring a slightly different flavor profile to the dish as they have their own unique flavors.
If you’re looking for a spicy twist, consider adding a teaspoon of dried pepper flakes. This would add more depth and complexity to the flavor of the pickles. You can also add minced jalapenos or spicy red peppers to your brine mixture to give it an extra kick.
For those who prefer a sweeter taste, try substituting half of the white vinegar with apple cider vinegar and adding one tablespoon of sugar or honey to the brine mixture. This will give a pleasant sweetness that balances the tanginess of turshi khiyar.
Additionally, if you’re looking to add an earthy element, there are some spice modifications that you can make. For instance, instead of using ground coriander you can use cumin, which is also a popular spice in Middle Eastern cuisine. To give it even more flavour add 1-2 teaspoons of curry powder. However these modifications would take away from the original taste of traditional Iraqi pickles.
Remember that pickling is incredibly forgiving, so feel free to experiment with other spices and vegetables according to your taste preference to create a blend that works for you.
Serving and Pairing
These Iraqi pickles are the perfect accompaniment to any Middle Eastern meal. They add a punchy, tangy flavor to any dish and are a great way to liven up a traditional meal. Serve turshi khiyar alongside grilled meats, such as lamb or chicken, or kebabs for a mouth-watering flavor combination.
Their sour and salty taste also pairs well with rich dishes and helps cut through the fatty oils present in foods like falafel, hummus with oil toppings, and shawarma. Turshi khiyar adds complexity to salads and sandwiches too.
If you are looking to put together a mezze spread, turshi khiyar will make the perfect addition. Pair them with other small dishes like stuffed grape leaves, baba ganoush, or hummus along with pita bread for an appetizing array of Middle Eastern flavors.
These pickles are fantastic to share with your friends and family over meals or casual gatherings as well. They’re so versatile that they can jazz up any mundane meal, from adding them to simple sandwiches to topping Greek salads.
Enjoy this traditional Iraqi delicacy as much as we do by trying different pairing options every time!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Turshi Khiyar, also known as Iraqi Pickles, can be prepared ahead of time and stored for a few weeks. The vinegar in the recipe acts as a natural preservative, allowing the pickles to maintain their texture and flavor during storage.
To make ahead, prepare the Turshi Khiyar according to the recipe’s instructions. Once done, let it cool down to room temperature before transferring to an airtight container. You can safely store it in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
When reheating, be sure to use a gentle heat source as high heat can break down the texture of the pickles. To reheat, remove your desired amount of pickles from the container and transfer them to a saucepan. Place the saucepan over low heat, add some water or brine, and keep stirring to prevent sticking. Remember not to boil the pickles; just heat them until they are warm enough.
You can also mix Turshi Khiyar with other mixed-pickled vegetables like turnips or cabbage. Store them in separate jars or combine them for a colorful side dish that complements any main course perfectly.
Remember that traditional Iraqi Torshi recipe doesn’t include sugar or curry powder; if you’re trying out this version with these added ingredients and find it too sweet or spicy for your liking, feel free to adjust accordingly or omit them altogether.
Overall, Turshi Khiyar is an excellent make-ahead option as it requires little preparation time and can elevate any meal with added crunchiness and tanginess.
Tips for Perfect Results
Preparing pickles can be a bit intimidating, but with a few helpful tips, you can create delicious Turshi Khiyar (Iraqi Pickles) right in your own kitchen. Here are my top tips for achieving perfect results every time.
First, be sure to use the right type of cucumber. Look for pickling cucumbers which are smaller and more firm than regular cucumbers, which hold up better when pickled. If you can’t find them, regular cucumbers will work but make sure to remove the seeds before slicing them.
Next, don’t skimp on the salt or vinegar. A mixture of white vinegar and water is used in this recipe along with kosher salt. The vinegar will create the sour element while the salt helps to bring out the natural flavor of the cucumbers.
To enhance the flavor of your Turshi Khiyar, add garlic cloves and spices like curry powder and coriander to the pickling liquid. Crush the garlic cloves before adding to release their flavor.
Another tip for successful pickling is to make sure that all the vegetables are fully submerged in the pickling liquid. Use a plate or food-grade plastic bag filled with enough water to weigh down on top of the veggies until they are fully submerged.
To ensure that your pickles stay crunchy and delicious long after being made, store them in a cool place like a refrigerator for at least 24 hours before serving.
Lastly, Turshi Khiyar is perfect for making ahead; it can be refrigerated for up to three weeks! Make big batches and put them aside till you need them; these lovely jars will become your go-to next time you need something crunchy, tangy, and flavorful.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating flavorful and crunchy Turshi Khiyar (Iraqi Pickles) that will transport you straight to the Middle East.
As with all recipes, there may be some common questions and concerns that arise when making turshi khiyar. Fear not, for I have compiled a list of commonly asked questions to help put your mind at ease and ensure your pickling journey is a success. From substitutions to storage, we’ll address the need-to-knows and provide expert tips for perfect results.
How long to leave pickled cucumber before eating?
As a tip, give your pickles at least three weeks to mature and unlock their ultimate flavor potential. However, be aware that the ideal pickle readiness may vary depending on your preferences. Don’t forget that excessive maturation can lead to the deterioration of the veggies’ texture, turning them undesirably rubbery.
How long do veggies in vinegar last?
When it comes to elevating the taste of vegetables or even fruits, pickling has proven to be a game-changer. By utilizing various spices, herbs and vinegars, it’s possible to custom-make any flavor you fancy. Additionally, pickling is a fantastic way of extending the lifespan of your veggies and fruits so that they remain fresh and enjoyable for up to 3 weeks when stored in the fridge.
In conclusion, I hope this recipe for Turshi Khiyar has inspired you to try something new and experiment with the flavors of the Middle East. This traditional Iraqi dish is easy to make with simple ingredients and can be customized to fit your taste preferences. From pickled cucumbers and turnips to cabbage and various mixed vegetables, there are endless possibilities when it comes to making turshi.
Not only is this recipe delicious, but it also keeps well in the fridge for up to three weeks, making it a perfect addition to your meal prep routine. And if you’re looking for a healthy snack or side dish, turshi khiyar is packed with nutrients and low in calories.
So grab some pickling cucumbers, white vinegar, garlic cloves, and spices like curry powder and ground coriander and get ready to make some flavorful Iraqi pickles. And don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations of this recipe – I guarantee you won’t regret it.
Now go forth and embrace the flavors of the Middle East with this delicious and easy Turshi Khiyar recipe!
Turshi Khiyar (Iraqi Pickles) Recipe
- 4 lbs pickling cucumbers
- 4 cups white vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/3 cup kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Put the cucumbers in a mason jar or jars.
- In a pot, bring the vinegar, salt, garlic, and spices to a boil.
- Remove from the heat and pour over the cucumbers to the top of the jar(s). Seal the jar.
- Pickles will be ready within a week. Just watch for the color change.