Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. Kvushim -- Israeli style pickles

  2. about 1 kg carrots

  3. 3 green bell peppers

  4. 2-4 chilies, preferrably fresh

  5. 1 head garlic

  6. 1 bouquet fresh dill

  7. about 1 litre water

  8. 1 tablespoon salt

  9. 1 1/2 litre glas jar or similar

  10. Rinse the carrots thoroughly, peel them if you like, then slice

  11. 1/2-1 cm slices

  12. lemon so that they will keep crisp and well-coloured while you're

  13. working.

  14. Rinse the peppers and seed them, then dice them so that they

  15. harmonize with the size of the carrots.

  16. If you use fresh chili you will need to rinse the pods and make a

  17. slit from one end to the other, you can leave the seeds inside.

  18. You can use dry chili as is.

  19. Peel the garlic cloves.

  20. Rinse the dill thoroughly and remove any yellowish leaves.

  21. Mix all the vegetables in the lemon water, then strain and put into a glass jar. Finally add the weak salt brine so that all of the

  22. veget- ables are covered and seal the jar. Place the jar on a

  23. warm, not hot, spot.

  24. The fermentation will most likely start already on the first day,

  25. sometimes within a few hours, but latest on the second day. Lacto-

  26. bacilli naturally present on the vegetables will metabolize some

  27. of the carbohydrates, producing carbon dioxide and lactic and acetic

  28. acids. It's a Good Idea(tm) to loosen the lid briefly once every

  29. few days so that the carbon dioxide can escape, lest you want the

  30. jar to burst from the built-up pressure. The production of acids

  31. will lower the pH and together with the lack of oxygen will prevent

  32. growth of other, and potentially harmful, bacteria.

  33. During the process of fermentation the brine becomes milky because

  34. of the abundance of lactobacilli feasting in the jar, this is how

  35. it is supposed to be. After some 2-3 weeks' time the fermentation

  36. will stop automagically because the pH is too low and because of

  37. lack of readily available carbohydrates. The lactobacilli will

  38. die and sink to the bottom of the jar. You can now eat the vegetables

  39. although they will develop a better taste if left to themselves

  40. for at least a couple of additional weeks.

  41. So long as the jar hasn't been opened the contents will keep firm

  42. and crisp for at least a year. After opening it will keep for a

  43. month or so refrigerated. Sometimes you will experience a very

  44. weak "post- fermentation" once the jar has been opened, this is

  45. okay.

  46. A couple of times in the past 15 years I have seen the garlics turn

  47. bluish-green (the same way sunflower seeds can sometimes turn

  48. greenish in cakes with eggs and bicarbonate), this will not affect

  49. the taste nor the edibility of the vegetables.

  50. You can use kvushim (meaning "pickles", pronounced "kuh-vooh 'sheem")

  51. in soups, in salads, with meat dishes, in pita,s as a snack and please don't limit yourself to using carrots and peppers. I have

  52. successfully fermented e.g. green beans, beet roots and cucumbers

  53. (each type of vegetable on its own). If you have access to vine

  54. leaves they are just *great* with the cucumbers (throw in some

  55. green grapes too!), in which case you would want to omit the dill.

  56. Leaves from the blackcurrant bush are also good. Cucumbers made

  57. this way are truly delicious in gazpacho, btw.

  58. Forget about cabbages, though, and find yourself a good recipe for making genuine sauerkrat instead, cabbages just don't turn out well

  59. this way.

  60. Experiment with the amount of garlic and/or chili -- try also other

  61. kinds of vegetables available at your place.


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