From chef Samantha Fore
Sam’s pop-up, Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites took center stage in “Somewhere South’s” pickle episode. As a first generation Sri Lankan-American, Kentucky-born chef, Fore’s impromptu dinners bring Sri Lankan flavors to Appalachian diners. Her participation in the Brown in the South Supper Series which highlights Southern-based chefs of Indian descent, is sorely missed by fans of her inventive merging of flavors. We asked Fore to share a recipe that takes advantage of items in your pantry, and she obliged. Try her recipe for a classic Sri Lankan pickle.
Step 1: Combine the water, kosher salt, turmeric and apple cider vinegar in a large saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Drop cleaned onions into boiling water for 1 minute, strain them out and reserve in a glass bowl. Repeat the process with all other vegetables, allowing to cook in boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes, then straining and adding to the glass bowl. For the peppers, boil 3 minutes until the stem pulls away from the pepper easily. Chop the peppers roughly after boiling.
Once all vegetables are boiled, set aside. Reserve 2 to 3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid.
Step 2: In a bullet blender or small food processor, combine black mustard seeds, turmeric, apple cider vinegar, salt, turmeric, garlic, ginger and the reserved cooking liquid. Buzz until a rough paste is formed — you want the seeds to split but not be completely pulverized and smooth.
Massage paste into vegetables evenly, and load the coated vegetables into a nonreactive glass vessel — a mason jar is ideal. Allow to sit on the counter for 6-10 hours, then move to refrigerator for two to three days. Pickles should be tender and vinegar shouldn’t be sharp — the spice should carry from the black mustard seed. Serve alongside hot rice and curry, or enjoy snacking at will.