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Homemade Spicy Piccalilli/Chow Chow Recipe - Spiced Mustard Pickles

Updated on September 19, 2017

Piccalilli or Chow Chow. A great Christmas relish.

Homemade vegetarian pickles such as spiced mustard piccalilli, chutney and jam are a great way to use up an excess of summer produce such as fruit and vegetables, they can save you money too, never a bad thing these days. They are wonderful at Christmas time.

Pickles and chutneys make a wonderful accompaniment for cheese, serve with some thick slices of good bread for a light lunch or supper dish.

For the meat eaters piccalilli goes very well with cold meats and pies. Piccalilli is sometimes also called chow chow in America.

This recipe looks as good as it tastes and when bottled in a stylish jar makes a very welcome present. If made with late summer or autumn produce it will easily keep for Christmas and beyond.

This is quite a chunky recipe and it makes life easier for you if you use squat, wide mouthed jars.

Be sure to thoroughly sterilise any container you use for this or any other pickle or jam product.

If you want another reason to try piccalilli, other than its great taste, it is also good for you.

Mustard has proven anti-inflammatory properties and might even help to ward off colds.

A bowl of homemade mustard pickle goes well with many things from cheese to cold meats.

This recipe will make around 4lbs of piccalilli.

I litre good quality white wine or cider vinegar.

2 tablespoons lightly crushed coriander seeds.

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons turmeric

1 tablespoon ground ginger

3 heaped teaspoons English mustard powder.

2 large white onions peeled and roughly chopped.

1 cauliflower broken into small florets.

8 oz sliced green runner beans.

2 large deseeded chillies thinly sliced.

2 medium courgettes cut into chunks.

3 cloves of crushed garlic.

6 oz white granulated sugar.

4 tablespoons white flour.


Retain four fluid ounces of the white wine or cider vinegar and place the rest into a large, heavy based pan and add the crushed coriander seeds. Bring this to the boil. Add the chopped onion and cauliflower florets and the half of the salt, reduce the heat and simmer for about ten minutes. Don’t overcook the mixture at this point as you want the piccalilli to retain some crunch. Add the sliced chilli, crushed garlic, runner beans and courgettes chunks and cook for around three minutes.

Drain the mixture using a sieve or colander over another pan so that you keep the hot vinegar and the vegeatables, add the sugar to the vinegar and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. In a small bowl mix together the flour, mustard powder, turmeric, ginger and the rest of the salt. Slowly pour in a little of the cold retained vinegar until the mixture is quite lose and runny.

Pour the rest of the cold vinegar into a fresh pan and add the hot vinegar to it, bring this vinegar to the boil and then slowly pour in the mustard mixture and using a whisk make sure this becomes a nice smooth sauce. Simmer for ten minutes, stirring occasionally, the flour will allow the sauce to thicken slightly. Remove from the heat and add the drained vegetables. Allow to cool slightly before carefully spooning into your sterilised containers.

Leave to cool completely before covering the jars. Make sure to use lids that are vinegar proof, this simple means using metal lids that have a coating on the inside, don’t use plastic lids as they will ruin the whole piccalilli. Store in a cool dark place and allow to mature for at least three weeks before sampling. Remember to keep the piccalilli in the fridge once the jar has been opened.

You can vary the ingredients to suit your taste by adding sliced red, green and yellow peppers, red onions, whole cocktail onions, sliced French beans etc.

The very best hot mustard powder you can buy and it IS hot but I love this one


Submit a Comment

  • GALAXY 59 profile image

    GALAXY 59 3 years ago from United Kingdom

    Hi Traci, I use both types of chilli as we like it quite hot in our family but you can adjust it to your own taste.

    And yes, this can be canned, it will keep for a very long time if you use this method .

  • profile image

    Traci 3 years ago

    2 questions:

    1) what do you mean by chilies? Do you mean a hot, spicy chili pepper, or a larger, sweet pepper (aka a "bell pepper")?

    2) can this be canned, using a hot water bath canning method?