Saturday, December 8, 2012

261. Cucumber Dill Pickles

Pickles have a special place in the hierarchy of Arab food. They are merely accessories to the food, but it's more complicated than that. We really take pride in our pickles, compare recipes and techniques, make gatherings to pickle together, and share the finished result with friends and family.
So, needless to say, there are several types of pickles, and more than one way to make one type.

Take cucumber pickles for example. The French have cornichons.The Brits have gherkins. Americans prefer kosher dill. Swedes slice their pickles before brining. Arabs, on the other hand, have a whole variety of pickled cucumbers, from curried, cucumbers, to those brined with date molasses, to these little humble dill cucumbers (a definite favorite).
I adapted the recipe, with alot of alterations, from the Iraqi Family Cookbook, which is a fair guideline to beginners and anyone wanting to explore Iraqi cuisine.


3 kg small cucumbers
2 Tbsp sugar
1 cup salt
2 cups vinegar
6 cups water
2 lemons
1 bunch dill
2 heads garlic


Wash cucumbers and cut into our strips, keeping the head intact.
Generously salt the cucumbers, and let them stand vertically in a colander in the sink over night to drain as much water as possible.
Bring the water, vinegar, sugar, and cup of salt to a boil, set aside to cool.

Wash the lemons and cut into thin wedges.
Peel the garlic and separate into cloves.
Proceed to place a stem of dill in each cucumber, then arranging the cucumbers snugly in a large sterile jar.
Place the lemon wedges and garlic cloves randomly around the cucumbers.
Pour the slightly cooled water-vinegar mix over the cucumbers in the jar to completely cover by an inch or more.

Set aside in a cool dark place for 14 days.
The chlorophyll in the cucumbers will disintegrate, changing the color from a vivid green to a muted dull green.
Store in the refrigerator, and take out as needed.
The jar, if stored properly, will easily keep in the refrigerator for several months.
Perfect in sandwiches and as an accompaniment to grilled meats.

 صحة و عافية

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