British Picalilli


This picalilli amazingly tastes pretty good as soon as it's cooled, but ideally it should be left for at least a month to allow the flavors to develop. We've opened jars after 6 months and they are even better! Ginger makes this quite fiery, you might want to adjust the quantity to suit your own taste. Vegetables can be varied according to personal preference; red peppers and sweet corn are suggestions.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
18 days 16 hrs 32 mins
Total Time:
18 days 17 hrs 17 mins
8 servings


  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets

  • 3 medium onion, diced

  • 3 large carrots, quartered lengthwise and sliced

  • 1 large cucumber - peeled, seeded, and diced

  • ½ pound fresh green beans, sliced diagonally

  • ½ cup salt

  • 10 tablespoons all-purpose flour, sifted

  • 2 tablespoons mild curry powder

  • 2 tablespoons ground turmeric

  • ¼ cup dry mustard

  • 4 tablespoons ground ginger

  • 4 cups white (distilled) malt vinegar

  • 2 ¾ cups white sugar


  1. Combine cauliflower, onion, carrots, cucumber, beans, and salt in a large bowl and toss well. Leave for 24 hours.

  2. The next day, rinse vegetables thoroughly in several changes of cold water. Drain well in a colander for 30 minutes.

  3. Inspect eight 12-ounce jars for cracks and rings for rust, discarding any defective ones. Immerse in simmering water until picalilli is ready. Wash new, unused lids and rings in warm soapy water.

  4. Combine flour, curry powder, turmeric, mustard powder, and ginger in a large pot. Gradually stir in 1/2 the vinegar, blending well until a smooth paste without lumps forms. Add remaining vinegar and sugar, mix well, and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring continuously. Cook until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Add vegetable mixture and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

  5. Pack picalilli into hot, sterilized jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the top. Run a clean knife or thin spatula around the insides of the jars to remove any air bubbles. Wipe rims with a moist paper towel to remove any spills. Top with lids and screw rings on tightly.

  6. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil and lower jars 2 inches apart into the boiling water using a holder. Pour in more boiling water to cover jars by at least 1 inch. Bring to a rolling boil, cover, and process for 5 minutes.

  7. Remove the jars from the stockpot and place onto a cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, until cool. Once cool, press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring that the seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all).

  8. Leave for 1 month, to allow picalilli to mature, before eating.

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of salt used for ingredients. The actual amount of salt consumed will vary.

Cook's Note:

Picalilli tastes great in sandwiches or with cheese and cold meats.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

460 Calories
3g Fat
108g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 460
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Sodium 822mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 108g 39%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Total Sugars 79g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 73mg 363%
Calcium 98mg 8%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 806mg 17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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