Category Archives: Pickle

Tempeh Potato Pepper Curry with Pickled Onions



Hello! It’s been a long time since my last post. I have been very busy with garden things and kid & school things. I have been tweeting a bit, in case you want to follow me there just look for thisspicylife… I usually re-tweet interesting nutrition articles, garden info and other inspiring stuff.

Yesterday I hosted a huge garden work day at our school garden as part of an Eagle Scout Project. We worked pretty much all day rebuilding raised beds and moving soil into the new beds. We had a lot of help from a local Boy Scout Troop #127 and our school parents and community volunteers. It was such a great day with beautiful weather and nice people. See the end of this post for some pics of our garden remodel.

I really worked up an appetite because today I was ready for a rather substantial (for me) breakfast. It turned into brunch by the time I got it made and ready to eat, though this is a pretty quick dish to make. We had some leftover pickled onions from the weekend, so added these to the plate along with some yummy grits seasoned with nutritional yeast. The leftovers will be made into burritos. It was the perfect addition to this non-spicy curry. If you want the onions, you should plan ahead. Or just make a batch and find ways to use them! They are a pretty pink color and delicious (if you like onions). Here is the tempeh recipe:

Tempeh Potato Pepper Curry with Pickled Onions (Serves 4)

1/2 package of tempeh, cut in bite-sized pieces
1 large baking potato, cut in bite-sized pieces
1 orange bell pepper (or other color), cut in bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup finely chopped kale
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, to taste)
pinch of garam masala (optional)
salt to taste

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and allow to heat a bit before adding the cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds start to toast, add the potato pieces and a bit of salt, stirring the potatoes to coat with the oil. Cover with a lid and allow the potatoes to cook, stirring occasionally. When the potatoes are almost cooked through, sprinkle with the turmeric, coriander powder and cayenne pepper and stir well. Add the tempeh, pepper, kale and garlic. Continue cooking and stir frequently until the tempeh is heated and the pepper is cooked to your liking. This should take just 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the pinch of garam masala and additional salt to taste. Serve with pickled onions over grits, rice or with bread of your choice.

Pickled Onions

1 red onion
1/2 cup of vinegar (any kind you like)
1/2 cup of water
pinch of salt

Peel the onion and cut in rings. Loosen the rings and place the rings in a non-reactive bowl. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the onion and add the vinegar (we used white vinegar) and water. Allow to sit for an hour or up to two days before using. These can be used in sandwiches, as part of an appetizer tray with other veggies, on pizza, or just on the side of any spicy curry. The longer they pickle, the better they taste. Just keep ’em in the fridge.

Here are some pics of our garden remodel:

Rebuilding the raised beds with cinder blocks…Boy Scouts in yellow shirts. The blocks will get painted later by the students.



Some artichokes growing in the garden… can’t wait to harvest!



One of our hard-working volunteers!





Fiery Fresh Mango Pickle

Fiery Fresh Mango Pickle

Hello! Welcome to This Spicy Life… Happy summer, everyone! Sorry I have been absent again for such a long stretch. We went on vacation for a few weeks in June. I have been trying to catch up with the home and kid stuff – the garden is wild with weeds and veggies and the kids are wild with energy and summer activities.

Today I’m featuring a spicy refrigerator pickle recipe from my friend Leena. We stayed at her house during our vacation and we ate this pickle with breakfast, then lunch and then dinner almost everyday! It was that good! She generously shared her recipe with me so now I am making it a staple in our home. BTW, Leena has a treasure trove of delicious recipes up her sleeve that I hope to include here in the future.

If you have never tried Indian pickles, you are in for a treat. They are spicy, but sometimes sweet, tangy, crisp and salty morsels of goodness that usually accompany simple Indian meals. Meals like rice and dal or roti and raita/yogurt can be made into something a lot more fantastic by the addition of a little pickle on the side. You can buy pickles at Indian grocery stores as well as some regular grocery stores. Experiment with one or two brands to see what you like. We love pickle so much in our house that I just counted 16 jars/bags of pickle ready to eat. Some good basic pickles to start out with are lemon, mixed pickle and maybe tomato or garlic.

The following recipe is a simple pickle to make but it may be a little difficult to find the ingredients. The green mangoes that are used are not the typical sweet variety that are found in most grocery stores in the US. They are a different variety of mango that stays sour (but with a mango taste) even when they become soft. This mango can be found in many Indian / Asian grocery stores and sometimes in Latin stores. If you find them, try to get the firmest fruits possible.  

The other ingredient that should be readily available at an Indian grocery is “Pickle Masala”. Choose one that contains only coarse red chili and fenugreek seeds (and maybe salt). I found a couple of different brands in my local store.

The pickle will take a few days to ripen and it tastes better the longer it sits. Be sure to put the pickle in a sterilized or very clean jar as this will help the pickle keep longer in the refrigerator.

If you don’t know how to cut mangoes, check out this link.

Fiery Fresh Mango Pickle

Makes about 4 cups

  •  4 firm green mangoes, peeled and cut in small chunks
  • 2 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 6 – 10 tbsp “pickle masala” made from course chili powder and fenugreek seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup oil (canola, grapeseed or olive oil – not extra virgin)
  1. Place the cut mango in a large bowl.
  2. Stir in the turmeric powder.  
  3. Allow to sit for 1 hour at room temperature.
  4. Move the mango pieces to a colander and allow to drain for 15 minutes.
  5. Spread the mango pieces on a tea towel (an old one since the turmeric will stain) or paper towels.  Pat dry and allow to sit at room temp for 30 – 60 minutes. 
  6. Return the mango pieces to the bowl and add 6 tbsp of the masala and about 2 tsp salt. Mix well and taste. Add more masala and salt until you have the flavor that you like. Pickles are supposed to be spicy, so don’t hold back too much! Also, the “raw” masala hasn’t mellowed yet, so the pickle may have a somewhat bitter taste at this point. Have faith…it will turn out great!
  7. Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temp for two days, stirring once in the morning and once in the evening.
  8. Place the pickle (it’s almost done!) in a sterilized or extremely clean glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Pour the 1/2 cup oil over the top of the pickle and put the lid on the jar.
  9. Place the jar outside during the day in the sun for a course of two days. (When I made this the first time we had very hazy, cloudy days. I didn’t place it outside but did let it sit out on the counter in my kitchen – it turned out fine.)
  10. You will see that most of the oil is absorbed into the mango and the masala. The pickle is ready to eat. Store in the refrigerator. This should last for at least several weeks or longer.