Fermented Indian Relish For A Tasty Lunch Anytime [Recipe] | Ultimatefoodpreservation.com

Fermented Indian Relish For A Tasty Lunch Anytime [Recipe]

Creating this fermented Indian relish is one of those unexpected activities that brings you a ton of joy afterward. I made this dish because I wanted new ideas for lunch during the week, and it didn’t disappoint.

You can easily make this at home because, like me, you probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry.

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What can I do with this recipe?

While it may seem like a hard relish to use, this recipe truly has flavors that mix well with everything. You can put it on some bread, with some cheese, add it to a meat stew, or even just have it with crackers.

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How did I decide to make it? I had the ingredients there and it occurred to me to make a relish, but I wanted to explore new flavors and aromas, so Indian it was!

All you will need is cucumbers, red onions, red peppers, and garlic. But the seasoning, as with most foods, is everything. I added turmeric, mustard seeds, cinnamon, ground black pepper, and chili flakes.

The flavor in this relish is everything, but to achieve it, I had to be patient. As you may already know, fermenting foods takes time. In this case, I waited about a week, and the flavor was much more complex; a bit sweet, a bit fiery, and a bit sour.

You can wait longer if you want, although some people prefer to cut the days to about 5 and then add a bit of sugar for sweetness. That’s totally up to you and what you plan on doing with this relish.

I love serving this during lunchtime, as it is a nice surprise on what would otherwise be a boring sandwich.

Now that you’re all at home, you can make this fermentation process a fun activity and try new flavors. I suggest you give this Indian relish a try next time you have the time!

Fermented Indian Relish

Recipe by Gillian Lightman


  • 1 1/2 lb (675 g) pickling cucumber

  • 1 small red onion, quartered

  • 1 small red pepper, quartered

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground

  • 1 tsp mustard seeds

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 – 1 tsp chili flakes

  • 3 whole cloves

  • 1 tbsp pickling salt


  • Mix cucumber, red pepper, onion, and garlic in food processor bowl and pulse until relish is finely chopped. Be careful not to puree.
  • Blend relish with the salt and spices in another bowl. Stir well.
  • Pour into glass quart jars leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.
  • Place the spring on top of the relish then twist the lid on.
  • Wipe glass jar, put the jar on a plate then store it in a cool place (65-75 F or 18-23 C) in your pantry.
  • After 48hrs, check jar and taste. You’ll notice white film on the surface of the brine, this is called kham yeast which is normal and completely safe.
  • 5-8 days are needed for the fermentation to complete, by then you’ll notice the separation of solids from liquid in the relish, simply stir before serving.
  • Once the fermentation process is complete, remove lid and spring then replace it with a canning lid.
  • If you desire a traditional sweet relish, add in up to 1/4 cup (32 g) of sugar.
  • Refrigerate relish and store up to 3 months.