Mamta's Kitchen

Forum Thread - Pickled Mediterranean veg

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Kim , on 15/11/2020 05:00pm

Once vegetables are cooked, pickled and put in a jar, how long will they keep for, I do pickled onions and heat seal them, to his removing the air from the jar, can this be done with the veg???

Mamta, on 15/11/2020 06:14pm

I don’t know the answer, perhaps someone else here will see your post and reply. You may do better asking on Mamta’s kitchen fb page.


Helen Bach, on 15/11/2020 07:36pm

Pickled veg can last a long time (years!) but the trick is to use something the Americans call 'pickle crsp'. It is calcium chloride, very similar to salt, and keeps the veg crisp. Without it, the veg will become soft over time.

I use vinegar, salt and pickle crisp, without cooking the veg. and it stays crisp for years. Be careful which salt you use, as some produces a whitish suspension! I use Himalayan salt, which is quite pure, unlike table salt, which has 'additives'.

I know Mamta doesn't like adding 'chemicals', but calcium chloride is much more 'friendly' that salt, going by our prehisory, and as we grow older, we need more calcium in our diet.

I find raw carrots excellent by this method! Also shallots...

Mamta, on 16/11/2020 09:50am

Hello Helen

That is great, knowing ‘what to add and why‘. I have been asked this question about western style pickling of vegetables (and fruits) several times before. Although I used to make loads of different Indian pickles, we eat hardly any now as we get old, my pickling knowledge in western pickling is almost nil.

How would you feel about sharing your pickling method for vegetables, with whys and ifs of various additions/techniques, written in a recipe format, and sharing it on this website, with appropriate title and key words, so it comes up under google search? Only if you feel happy about it.

I love your style of explaining things, making them simple, just like my chemist father used to do, telling us the reasons for why we do various things in cooking and preserving.

Best wishes


Helen Bach, on 16/11/2020 01:42pm

Hello Mamta,

I can't say I'm an expert on pickles; like you, I have made less and less as we 'mature'! But I have had great success recently with the use of calcium chloride (pickle crisp), and can thoroughly recommend it.

The things I have pickled include carrots, baby onions, shallots, lemons, red cabbage, ginger and galangal. I may have tried others, but those are the ones I like (my partner doesn't like vinegar! but does like citrus juices, thankfully!)

Vinegar quality is important, I don't use the industrial offerings, I tend to use either white wine vinegar or cider vinegar. To a pint of that vinegar I add a teaspoonful of calcium chloride and a tablespoon of Himalayan salt. I thoroughly wash firm, clean crisp veg/fruit, then put it straight into the vinegar/brine mix, and store for at least a month.

Most things will keep for a year, but the cabbage can become a little soft, depending on starting condition.

NOTE. Calcium chloride is available in 'food quality'. It is hygroscopic, and absorbs water readily, so store in a glass jar with a non-metal lid, as the chloride ion will corrode the lid. Ensure the lid fits really tightly, else the jar will be filled with very damp crystals, if not puddles of solution!

Helen Bach, on 16/11/2020 02:33pm

sorry, should have said litre, not pint. (getting old!)

Mamta, on 16/11/2020 06:20pm

Thank you for that.

If I write it in a recipe format and add it here, will you be willing to edit it and may be, let me have a couple of pictures of your pickled vegetables?

“sorry, should have said litre, not pint. (getting old!)“

Join the club!


Helen Bach, on 16/11/2020 09:51pm

yes, of course Mamta, anything to help...

But there may be a while before I can snap some pics, as shopping is very difficult for us, at this moment.

Mamta, on 17/11/2020 06:40am


Same for us. I haven’t stepped inside a shop/supermarket in over six months, getting delivery on line.

No hurry, whenever. I might try to make a small amount, if I can get calcium chloride and Himalayan salt from Sainsbury’s.


Helen Bach, on 17/11/2020 11:09pm

I bought my H salt from a Turkish grocers that keep most things I want. Calcium chloride available from ebay. Dihydrate is fine for our purpose. Get food grade. £1.79 for 100g. H salt on ebay seems expensive, so look around.

Helen Bach, on 17/11/2020 11:23pm

just found some pickled onions which must be 5 years old, and they are still crunchy!

Mamta, on 18/11/2020 10:36am

A couple of pictures please Helen, that I can use on the recipe, when I get around to it. Didn’t sleep well last night, an unusual occurrence for me, so feeling a little knackered ?

Helen Bach, on 18/11/2020 12:18pm

OK, have a couple pics of five year old shallots and onions. They are very dark (the pickles, not the pics) but taste wonderful, quite mellow for pickles! How do I get them to you?

I've not been sleeping well for months, might be something to do with the present situation. I'm not a worrier, but I am aware of our mental well being, and how it must be affect by this awful situation.

Mamta, on 18/11/2020 05:26pm

It is a worrying time, so sleep disturbance is not surprising. I don't sleep well about once every couple of months, but usually am okay so far.

You can me the pictures via the contact link at the top of the page.

Many thanks.


Mamta, on 19/11/2020 11:11am

Hello Helen

I have written the first draft of your recipe. How can I send it to you for checking/correction?


Helen Bach, on 19/11/2020 09:17pm

Hello Mamta

Having problems with email. Your 'contact' assumes I am using 'Microsoft software', but my computers do not run any Microsoft apps. I will set up another email application, and we can contact each other via this, if this is OK.

Mamta, on 20/11/2020 11:57am

I will request Pete to check it out.


Ganders, on 20/11/2020 01:37pm

It's more that your browser is assuming you're using "Microsoft software"; the contact button is tells your browser that it's an email address.

You should be able to use mamta @ mamtaskitchen . com in whichever email software you use.


Martin Webb, on 6/1/2021 07:02pm

Hi Helen & Mamta. I've been watching your posts with great interest. Have you anything that can be shared, either recipes or dosing levels?

Kind Regards,


Helen Bach, on 7/1/2021 02:24pm

hello Martin,

I have tried to contact Mamta recently, but due to a computer malfunction over Christmas, have not been able to make contact. I think I will leave it until we can make contact. Mamta, emails sent to " mamta @ mamtaskitchen . com "

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