In my book, a British staple. What else would you want on the side of a pork pie, or dolloped next to a hunk of cheddar, a slice of bread and an apple, but delightfully tangy Piccalilli. Impossible to get here in Switzerland and has earned me quite a few raised eyebrows when I inquired after it, which is why I started making my own, and I’ll tell you what, I’d never go back. Homemade Piccalilli is the way forward, my friends. So even if they imported an entire fleet of trucks filled with Piccalilli and opened a Piccalilli shop called Piccafrickinglilli, I wouldn’t even be tempted to buy a single jar. Because I’d never go back to the shop-bought stuff! NEVER!

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RECIPE: Piccalilli

SOURCE: Adapted from Pam’s Piccalilli at River Cottage and Rasa at Friendly Nettle

FLAVOUR PROFILE: Tangy. Sweet. Sharp.

GOES GREAT WITH: Mature cheddar and cold meats as part of a Ploughman’s Lunch. It’s awesome with a pork pie! Use like a chutney in sandwiches.

NOTES: With the vegetables, it’s up to you what the ratios are. If you love cauliflower, load it up. If you hate green beans, leave them out. As long as the total weight comes to 1kg, you’re all good.

MAKES: 4 x 300ml jars


  • 1kg (35oz) (TOTAL AMOUNT)  CAULIFLOWER, COURGETTE, GREEN BEANS, RED ONION, BELL PEPPER, CARROTS. Chopped depending on how you would like the consistency to be. I wanted more of a sandwich pickle, so I chopped my veg finely. If you like a chunky chutney, then roughly chop.
  • 1/2 APPLE, chopped the same as the veg.
  • 1/2 MANGO, chopped the same as the veg.
  • 50g (1.8oz) SALT
  • 30g (1oz) CORNFLOUR
  • 10g (0.4oz) GROUND TURMERIC
  • 10g (0.4oz) MUSTARD POWDER
  • 15g (0.5oz) YELLOW MUSTARD SEEDS
  • 1 tsp. CORIANDER SEEDS, crushed in a pestle and mortar
  • 1 tsp. CUMIN SEEDS, crushed in a pestle and mortar
  • 600ml (21oz) CIDER VINEGAR
  • 150g (5.3oz) GRANULATED SUGAR
  • 50g (1.8oz) HONEY
  • 2 cloves GARLIC
  • 1/2 tsp. GROUND NUTMEG
  • 2 tbsp. OLIVE OIL


  1. Put the CAULIFLOWER, COURGETTE, GREEN BEANS, RED ONION, PEPPER and CARROTS in a large bowl. Add the SALT and cover with water. Leave in a cool place for 2 hours, then drain thoroughly.
  2. Heat the OIL in a large saucepan. Add the MUSTARD SEEDS, MUSTARD POWDER, TURMERIC, NUTMEG, CORIANDER and CUMIN. Cook for a minute. The seeds will start to pop and splutter. Make sure you don’t burn the spices; as soon as you can smell their aroma, lower the heat.
  3. Add the CORNFLOUR and A GLUG OF CIDER VINEGAR and whisk together to make a smooth paste.
  4. Gradually add THE REST OF THE VINEGAR, whilst continually whisking so that the mixture is lump-free.
  5. Add the APPLE, MANGO, GARLIC, SUGAR and HONEY, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Take the drained salted VEGETABLES and add them to the mixture. Give it a good stir, making sure that all the vegetables are nicely coated.
  7. Simmer for 15 minutes to reduce the liquid. Sometimes, I need to reduce it for a bit longer to reach the right consistency, however I wouldn’t recommend going over the half hour mark, as you want the vegetables to retain a bit of bite.
  8. Spoon into sterilised jars and store in a cool dark place for at least 4 weeks.

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