Pickles rock! They are wicked on their own or as a topping on your favourite dishes and with choices like pickled cucumber, beetroot, onion, chillies and so on – you can find an excuse to eat them anytime you want. Pickling has been used as a means to preserve food for thousands of years, with one of the earliest known uses dating back to 2030 BC where cucumbers where pickled in the Tigris Valley region of India. Aristotle even claimed that pickled cucumbers had healing effects which is good enough for me!
This recipe is so much better than the store-bought chillies you will find sitting by the boxed Mexican ‘kits’ in UK supermarkets. They still have a kick with that pickled twang and work really well with Mexican dishes such as Tacos & Burritos, and are also great in sandwiches and with curries.
One of the best things about pickling things such as chillies, is how much you can play with what you pickle them in. With this recipe, I have pulled back the sugar quantity as the more sugar you add, not only the sweeter, but the less spicy they become. But if you love the American style pickles in the sweet brine, crank the sugar up! I have used a mix of cider and distilled vinegar for this, but again the choice is yours! For a fruitier, sweeter pickle you can just use cider vinegar, red wine vinegar is great for pickling onions & beetroot. You also have a huge array of spices to choose from (or even none at all) such as whole peppercorns, cumin seeds, chilli flakes etc. So if you find yourself with an abundance of vegetables that you don’t want to end up throwing away – grab your vinegar and get pickling!!