Gobi Gajar Achar is a seasonal Punjabi style mixed vegetable pickle. This is a spicy, traditional Punjabi pickle recipe that is tried and tested for generations in our family. It is one of the most delicious ways to relish and preserve winter vegetables.
The Pickle Story
In India, pickling is one of the most commonly used techniques to preserve seasonal fruits, vegetables, and berries.
Gobi Gajar Achar is a popular winter pickle recipe from North India.
It is a simple, gluten-free, vegan mixed vegetable pickle made with a handful of pantry staples.
When the vegetable market is flooded with bright and shiny cauliflower (gobi), plenty of long and lustrous red carrots (gajar), and pungent turnips (shalgam) – that is the perfect timing to make the delicious gobi gajar ka achaar.
Apart from warm winter sun, you need a few basic ingredients to make gobi gajar achar from scratch at home.
Vegetables: My family combines cauliflower florets, carrot, turnip, and radish for making this Punjabi mixed vegetable pickle. Feel free to skip radish or turnip if the aroma and taste are too much for your senses.
Green Chili: A few sliced fresh green chili taste exquisite in this pickle. But an optional ingredient.
Mustard Seeds (Rai): The tiny black mustard seeds also known as rai, is the key flavoring ingredient for gobi gajar achar.
Spices: Salt to taste and turmeric powder for preserving/giving color to the pickle.
Pickle Masala: I add a dash of homemade achaar masala as well to this pickle. It is totally optional. But makes a hell lot of difference to the taste of the pickle.
Mustard Oil: The pungent taste and luscious texture of the mustard oil is the soul of Indian pickles. There is no substitute for mustard oil in this gobi gajar achar recipe.
The Pickling Process
It took me a while to understand the sorcery behind making the finger-licking good pickles.
For a novice pickle maker like me the gobi, gajar aur shalgam ka achaar is one of the simplest pickle recipes to begin the pickling expedition.
Prepare Vegetables: Clean, wash, pat dry, and cut the vegetables into equal bite size pieces.
Blanching: Boil water in a deep saucepan, add turmeric and salt to the boiling water. First, add the cauliflower florets in the boiling water and blanch for 5 – 10 minutes or till tender (al-dente). Transfer to a colander.
Similarly, blanch the carrots and turnip till tender, drain and keep aside. Make sure not to fully cook the vegetables while blanching.
Spread all the blanched vegetables on a large/clean/dry baking sheet or tray. Cover with a muslin cloth and sundry for 1 – 2 days.
Make Masala: Gently pound the mustard seeds once or twice in a stone mortar and pestle. Or pulse mustard seeds once in a mixer to make a coarse powder.
Pickling: After sun drying continuously for a day or two will evaporate excess moisture from the vegetables. Transfer them to a wide mixing bowl. Add crushed mustard seeds, salt to taste, pickle masala (optional), and mix nicely.
Pour mustard oil, taste the vegetable for seasoning, and mix one more time nicely.
Take a clean, dry, sterilized jar and transfer the pickled vegetables into the jar along with oil and spice mix. Seal the jar with a tight-fitting lid.
Allow the pickle jar to sit at room temperature or under the direct sun for 2 – 3 days. Shake the jar once or twice a day.
Gobi Gajar Achar is ready to be served. This pickle stays good at room temperature for 10 – 15 days.
My Tried & True Tips
Try to use the crisp, and the freshest available vegetables for making the pickle rather than the stale, spotted ones.
The vegetables need to be blanched not cooked. They need to have a crunch to them. Mushy and overcooked vegetables are a BIG NO for making this pickle.
After blanching vegetables, make sure they are sun-dried nicely. They should not be slimy, wet or moist while making the pickle.
Once the pickle is ready, safeguard it from all kinds of moisture whether it is a wet spoon, water splashes, or humid climate. Once the pickle comes in contact with water content it will develop fungus.
The shelf life of this pickle is not more than 15 – 20 days, unlike other Indian pickles. Hence, it is best to make it in small batches to consume quickly.
It is always best to use a clean, sterlised glass or ceramic jar with a tight fitting lid to store pickles.
Store gobi gajar achar at room temperature for 15 – 20 days. Or you can keep it in the refrigerator to increase the shelf life.
Make sure to use a clean, dry spoon every time to scoop out the pickle.
You can serve this mixed vegetable pickle with dal & rice, khichdi, or any other comforting Indian meal.
More Indian Pickle Recipes For You
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Punjabi Gobi Gajar Achar Recipe
- 1 Cup cauliflower florets
- 1/2 Cup diced carrot
- 1/2 Cup diced turnip
- 5 – 6 green chili, cut into half
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 2 tablespoon mustard seeds (rai)
- 1 teaspoon achaar ka masala (optional) see recipe
- Salt to taste
- 1 Cup mustard oil
- To make the Gobi, Gajar aur Shalgam Ka Achaar, first cut the vegetables into broad size pieces.
- Boil water in a deep pan, add turmeric and salt to the boiling water.
- Add the cauliflower florets in the boiling water and blanch for 5 – 10 minutes or till the colour changes. Transfer to a colander.
- Similarly, blanch the carrots and turnip till just soft, drain and keep aside. Make sure not to cook the vegetables while blanching.
- Spread all the blanched vegetables on a large baking sheet or tray. Cover with a muslin cloth and sun dry for 1 – 2 days.
- After sun drying continuously for a day or two will evaporate excess moisture from the vegetables.
- You can dry the blanched vegetables in the shade as well.
- Meanwhile gently pound the mustard seeds once or twice in a stone mortar and pestle. You can do the same in mixer as well. Pulse mustard seeds once in dry items grinding jar of mixer.
- Once the vegetables are ready to be pickled, transfer them to a large bowl.
- Add mustard seeds, green chilies, salt to taste and pickle masala if using any. Combine well so that vegetables are evenly coated with the spice mix.
- Pour the mustard oil over the vegetables and stir to combine.
- Take a clean, dry jar and transfer the pickled vegetables into the jar along with oil and spice mix.
- Seal the jar with a tight fitting lid.
- Allow the pickle jar to sit at room temperature for 2 – 3 days. You can also keep the jar under the direct sun rays for a day or two. Shake the jar once or twice in a day.
- Gobi, Gajar aur Shalgam Ka Achaar is ready to be served. This pickle stays good at room temperature for 10 – 15 days.
- Make sure to use clean and dry spoon to scoop out the pickle.