Make your own spekboom and carrot atchar
Foraging expert Loubie Rauch says she has experimented with various recipes over the years, adapting them with indigenous edible plants. “This recipe is an adaptation of a pickled carrot recipe from the iconic recipe book Indian Delights, which has inspired countless domestic and professional cooks. Spekboom works very well for this pickle, because its bright-green leaves and the orange carrot look so lovely together, especially right after you’ve made the pickle.” (The leaves lose some of their colour as the pickle develops.)
• 2 kg carrots, sliced thinly
• 500 g spekboom leaves
• 20 curry leaves
• cooking oil, for frying
• 2 tablespoons chilli flakes (or more if you like it hot)
• 1 cup sultanas
• 1 cup white sesame seeds
• 1 cup fine desiccated coconut
• ¾ cup cooking oil
• 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
• 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
• 2 tablespoons black mustard seeds
• ¾ cup cornflour
• 2 cups water
• 4 cups white-wine vinegar
• 2 tablespoons strong English mustard powder
THIS IS HOW
Make mixture 1 Combine the chilli, sultanas, sesame seeds and coconut in a food processor and pulse until the sesame seeds and sultanas are slightly crushed. Heat the oil in a saucepan large enough to contain all the ingredients for this recipe and fry the sesame-and-coconut mixture until fragrant and nutty.
Make mixture 2 While mixture 1 cools down, toast the cumin, sesame and mustard seeds in a dry pan until fragrant. Add this mixture to mixture 1. Make mixture 3 Combine the cornflour with enough water to form a smooth paste. Stir this paste into the rest of the water, add the vinegar and heat the mixture in a saucepan. Stir continuously until it thickens. Let the mixture cool down slightly before adding the mustard powder. Stir until well incorporated. Now add mixture 3 to the other mixture.
Stir the carrot and spekboom leaves into the combined mixture.
Heat a little oil in a pan and temper the curry leaves in it until they become fragrant. Add the combined mixture to the pan and stir. Transfer the atchar to sterilised jars, pressing it down so that any trapped air escapes and the liquid rises to cover the pickle. Allow the pickle to stand for at least two weeks before you enjoy it. Loubie is the owner of Making KOS. She has a passion for teaching people to cook with indigenous plants of the Cape Floral Kingdom. She believes these ingredients can be a valuable source of nutrition. Sign up for one of her cooking classes to find out more. makingkos.blogspot.com