Torshi (Pickled Vegetables)
Torshi ترشى, refers to a variety of pickled vegetable intended to enhance the flavor of meaty stews like polow with khoresht (rice & stew). My parents weren’t big on torshi, so I had my fill every time I was invited to a friend’s house in Isfahan.
Here is the picture of the Siosepol Bridge I walked through, many times, to get to a friend’s house or to my private lessons in physics and chemistry. The Siosepol, with a literal translation of 33 bridges, is two rows of 33 arches that cross the Zayandeh-Rood (Life-Giver River), largest river in the central Iran, and dates all the back to the 1600’s. Come to think of it, I never counted the arches to verify the 33 count. What a miss! …. anyhow, isn’t the bridge just beautiful?
Back to the food, the torshi you are about to prepare is the more traditional style and common to most households. If you like your pickles crunchy follow the instructions, but if , like most Iranians, prefer a softer texture, par cook the vegetables. Wear gloves if you rather not have your hands stained by turmeric, otherwise roll up your sleeves and have at it!
Ingredients ( ~ 11 med. canning jars):
Vegetables All washed, peeled and finely diced.
- 3 med. carrots- lightly steamed (~ 6 min)
- 1 lrg red/white onion
- 1 med. eggplant, sliced in half
- 1 lrg cucumber
- 1 green bell pepper (seeds removed)
- o.5 sml cauliflower
- 1/4 cup white cabbage (shredded)
- 3-4 garlic cloves
Fresh Herbs All washed, dried and finely chopped.
- 1/2 cup each: parsley, coriander, dill
- 1 Tbs each: tarragon, mint, basil ( fresh or dried)
Other Don’t worry if you are missing one or two ingredient; angelica powder and nigella seeds can be hard to find.
- 1 Tbs dried lime powder or lime juice
- 1 Tbs crushed angelica
- 1 Tbs nigella seeds also called black caraway seeds
- 1 Tbs fennel seeds
- 1 Tbs coriander seeds
- 2-3 Tbs salt
- 1 Tbs dried hot red pepper flakes ( or 1 fresh, chopped)
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 quarts white wine vinegar or white distilled vinegar
Time~ Prep: 1.5 hr Fermentation: 2 wks
- Salt the peeled and sliced eggplant and bake in the oven (350 Fahrenheit) for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool then chop.
- In a large mixing bowl combine all the diced/chopped vegetables with herbs and spices. Mix well.
- Pack the mixture in the clean glass jars up to the rim. Press down. Fill up the jars with enough vinegar to cover.
- Sprinkle a tsp of salt into each jar. Close the lids tightly.
- Store in a cool dry place for at least 2 weeks before serving.
Goes best with chicken.
My friends loved it on pizza.
Since the Torshi juice contains all the nutritious spices and herbs, I use it as a soup broth. It works wonderfully with recipes that require a bit of acidity.
Tabrik (Congrats) ! You are done.