Here’s an old fashioned sweet pickles recipe from my family’s kitchen but with a savory twist! This curry sweet pickles recipe is an easy recipe for beginner canners!
If you’re new to canning and need some basic information to get started, we have a canning tutorial post that can help. The article covers both water bath and pressure canning, as well as the equipment needed to start preserving food this way. For pickles, you will need a water bath canner, FYI.
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Uses for Curry Sweet Pickles
If you’re a fan of sweet pickles or bread and butter pickles, then you’ll love these curry sweet pickles! The truth is, curry pickles can blend well into tuna mixes, Thousand Island dressing and deviled eggs just like any pickle. However, you might want to consider including them:
- as a topping for traditional Indian dishes like dahl, curries and stuffed into chapatis
- paired with fermented foods like cultured cream and sauerkraut
- on Charcuterie boards with cold cuts and fruit
- laid on fresh bread with even fresher feta cheese
You could also simply eat these curry pickles because it’s your birthday or picnic day or Wednesday!
Pickles are a delight. As Meera Sodah writes in my favorite of her Indian cookbooks, Made in India,
“Pickling is believed to have started in India around 4,000 years ago as a way of preserving perishable food. In many parts of India..where locals rely on seasonality, pickling is still a fiercely popular activity. Many, however – my self included – just pickle for pleasure.”
Incidentally, I highly recommend Made in India to anyone interested in learning to cook authentic Indian food. The recipes are entirely accessible for someone who didn’t have the good luck to be raised cooking Indian food. Meera’s prose is engaging and her food is pure joy. Plus, the pictures are exquisite!
Curry Sweet Pickles Canning Recipe
Pickles are about the easiest thing on God’s green earth to preserve and you can easily make this recipe even if you’re new to canning. The combination of sweet pickle flavor with the richness of curry will make this a favorite recipe for your family.
- 8 lbs. of Pickling Cucumbers
- 3 lbs. of Sweet Onions, finely sliced
- 1/2 Cup Sea Salt, for overnight brine
- 4 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar
- 4 Cups Raw Sugar
- 2 Tbsp. Mustard Seed
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. Celery Seed
- 1 tsp. Curry Spice, or Plain Turmeric*
- 1 1/2 tsp. Whole Cloves
- 1 1/2 tsp. Whole Peppercorns, optional
- Wash and sterilize 12 pint jars with lids and rings.
- Wash the pickles thoroughly but gently to remove all dirt. Trim the bottoms and tops and be sure to remove any trace of cucumber blossoms.
- Thinly slice the onions.
- Place the cucumbers and sliced onions into a large, non-reactive bowl and sprinkle with the sea salt. Mix thoroughly by hand until the salt is mixed in and begins to dissolve. Cover with a few inches of ice and a damp towel. Leave overnight in a cool place.
- In the morning, dump the cucumbers and onions and rinse them to remove the salt. Set aside.
- Make the syrup to fill the jars by combining the vinegar and sugar. Dissolve the sugar over medium/high heat.
- Add the mustard seeds, celery seeds, curry, cloves and peppercorns among the jars.
- Add the cucumbers and onions to the syrup to heat them thoroughly by bringing the mixture to a boil.
- Pack the jars firmly with the cucumber and onion mixture. Once firmly packed, fill the jars to 1/2" below the rims with the syrup mixture.
- Process jars in a water bath for 10 minutes. Remove jars to to a kitchen towel without touching the lids overnight.
- Wait at least a month before you open a jar of the curry pickles to give them enough time sit in the syrup.
*Chances are you're reading this recipe because you like that robust curry flavor. If not, you can use plain turmeric for it's spicy flavor and beautiful color.
Always follow the instructions for your canner or guidelines that can be found at National Center for Home Food Preservation.
Other Pickled Recipes You Might Enjoy
Remember that experimentation is one of the joys of canning and pickling is a safe way to try new flavors. Here are some other recipes you might like to make.