About This Recipe
Equipment: measuring jug (1 qt/ 1 L), clean glass jar with lid (1 qt/ 1 L)
Note: The chlorine in tap water can inhibit fermentation; I recommend using filtered water, water that has been boiled and cooled, or allowed to sit out for half an hour so the chlorine can dissipate. Use red or white onions, whichever you prefer. Use any kind of dried red chile in this recipe; different varieties will make the pickle slightly sweeter or hotter depending on their flavor profiles. The optional beet enhances the pinkish color of the ferment, recalling the pink vinegared onions often served at Indian restaurants.
- 2 Tbsp (30 g) Himalayan pink salt
- 2 cups (500 ml) water, filtered or boiled and cooled
- 3 Tbsp local honey
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) apple cider vinegar, with the mother
- 2 cups (175 g) onions sliced medium to thick
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
- 2 to 3 whole dry red chiles
- Small piece of beet, peeled (optional)
Step 1Make a basic brine by completely dissolving the pink salt into the filtered water.
Step 2Add the honey and apple cider vinegar.
Step 3Fill up a sterilized or well-cleaned glass jar up with the sliced onions and spices. Add the beet if using. Pour all of the brine over the onions.
Step 4Close the lid and let the jar of onions ferment at room temperature for about 7 days. Open the lid daily to release carbonation. You can start tasting it after 4 days — once the fermentation is complete to your liking, store in the refrigerator. You can ferment this for as long as 21 days.
Substitutions: Use coarse sea salt instead of Himalayan pink salt. To make this recipe vegan, use unrefined sugar instead of honey.
Serve It With: In an Indian thali meal along with roti, dal and vegetables; alongside kababs; in salads or on toasts. The possibilities are endless.
Zero-Waste: Use any leftover brine in dressings and marinades.