ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Food and Cooking»
  • Starter & Snack Recipes

How To Make Piccalilly.

Updated on May 10, 2017
tonymead60 profile image

Tony is a curry addict, ask him what he wants the answer will always be a Curry. He has travelled to India many times in search of recipes.

Piccalilly, a Victorian favourite.
Piccalilly, a Victorian favourite. | Source

Spicy Pickle


The Victorians loved spicy food. Spices had for centuaries been extremely expensive, valued more than gold per ounze. When the British Empire was in its hayday spices became more easily available and more affordable.

You may think that the love of curry in GB is new, but it goes back to the eighteenth centuary. The first curry restraunt was opened in 1860.

Piccalilli is great with meat, cheese, meat pies. If you like a pickle with a bit and some flavour this is for you.

My cooking friend Fabio and I make lots of meat dishes and savoury pies, and almost always we round the dish off with homemade pickles, sometimes onions, beetroot, but most often piccalilli.

Here is our recipe which we have developed over a number of years using different spices and flavourings, but no dreaded ‘E’ numbers, or artificial anythings.


My Toasting Pan For Spices
My Toasting Pan For Spices | Source
tomatoes with the middles removed
tomatoes with the middles removed | Source
cucumber and cougettes
cucumber and cougettes | Source


  • six medium sized tomatoes, cut them in quarters and take out the seeds
  • Four courgettes,, chop them into squares.
  • A cucumber,, chopped into cubes.
  • Two onions, or shallots, finely diced.
  • A medium sized cauliflower, split the florets and remove the thickest of the stalks.
  • One pint of cider vinegar,, I like this better than malt for this pickle.
  • Spices, one teaspoon of each; coriander, turmeric, cumin, mustard, garlic, ginger
  • Half a teaspoon of chilli powder.
  • Two tablespoons of corn flour.

Vegetables in Brine

The vegetables need to be placed in a colander for about two hours with a good covering of salt, this will reduce the water content of them.

Wash the salt from the vegetables and then place them onto a some kitchen roll to dab away any excess water.

Toasted Spice.

You will get the most flavour from your spices if you very lightly toast them before you use them.

Mix your spices together and gently toast them in a frying pan. They will begin to release a wonderful aroma and you will know that they are ready.

Make sure a that you do not burn them; toasting them gives the spices a much richer taste.

In a large pan place your vegetables, and then add the corn flour. Using a medium heat, gently begin sweating the vegetables, and now add the litre of cider vinegar and your spices.

Don't forget to use all your senses, and enjoy the incredible aromas and fragrances you will get from this dish.

Home Made Is Simply The Best

Most of our friends and associates ask why we bother doing all this cooking and preparing food when the supermarket shelves are loaded with the stuff. There are many reasons for making your own meals, even Pickles. Just read any label you buy and see if you recognise everything that is written there; I’d be surprised if you did, unless you are to be chemist. Last piccalilli that I bought had minimum vegetables cooked in a thick glutinous sauce that had very few merits taste wise. The list of ingredients, was made up of various additives, sugars, and E-numbers; and to be honest it went in the bin.

Fabio and I are passionate about our foods, there is nothing to replace it.


Enjoy Your Cooking

Back to the cooking, whilst we do all this cooking, we have great fun telling stories and jokes, but the best bit is anticipating what we have created, and the pleasure we and our loved ones will get from eating it.

Boil and Jar Your Pickle

Boil everything together for twenty minutes. Prepare your jars by washing in Bicarbonate of soda, and then placing in the oven for ten minutes at 120 degrees.

Ladle the mixture into the jars and leave to set and cool. Once they are cooled down place in a dark place for at least 8 weeks. I usually label them all with the date so I know just how long they have been there.

Eat with cheese, meat pies, I have been known to have a piccalilli sandwich, yum yum.

I hope you have enjoyed this recipe and that you will try to make this great pickle. You can make more or less spicy to suit your taste. Please leave a comment so I know someone is out there.

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour 20 min
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 2 hours 5 min
Yields: Several jars of tasty pickle

In a Pickle

What's your favourite pickle

See results

How Do You Rate This Pickle

5 stars from 1 rating of Picalili


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Derdriu 6 years ago

      Tony, Thank you!

      Respectfully, Derdriu

    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 6 years ago from Yorkshire


      make it as spicy as you like, but word of warning make sure if you salt some of the veg that you then wash and soak it, otherwise, I made one that was awful some while back because of the salt.

      regards tony

    • profile image

      Derdriu 6 years ago

      Tony, No, but now I have the recipe ;-].

      Respectfully, Derdriu

    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 6 years ago from Yorkshire


      a picalilly sandwich is two slices cuut as thick as doorsteps of wholemeal bread, buttered and filled with picalilly. Your five a day sandwich yummy.

      Have you ever had picalilly?

      Yummily yer old pal


    • profile image

      Derdriu 6 years ago

      Tony, What a delectable, inviting, scrumptious treat is Picalilly! In particular, I like the way it photographs and what you suggest that it can go with: Cheeses and meat pies are definitely a draw. But what is in a Picalilly sandwich?

      Thank you for sharing, voted up + all.

      Respectfully, Derdriu

    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 6 years ago from Yorkshire

      HI Gordon

      I hope you are well. I love piccalilly, a meat pie is not the same without some.

      By the seeds, I meant all the wet stuff out of the middle, you may as well use it up.

      How's the fishing this year?

      I actually use 2 teaspoons of chilli and a few jalapinoes for extra heat. yummy

      nice to hear from you again, thanks for calling.

      I hope your weekend is good too.

      cheers Tony

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image

      Gordon Hamilton 6 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hi, Tony

      I have to give this a try. I remember as a child my parents making picalilli but the age old recipe they followed has - unfortunately - long since been lost.

      Interesting that you put your tomato seeds in a curry. I agree with the concept of using all foodstuffs where possible rather than throwing them away but I have never before retained tomato seeds. Any other uses for them? Might make a good Hub! :)

      Have a good weekend



    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 6 years ago from Yorkshire

      Stessily as I have already confessed to having a poor geographical knowledge of America I was wondering if you live near Chicago? We only have one shop around here that stocks white balsamic.

      Yes sad about the Bramleys, they've done pretty well to last for about four months boxed up. I have three apple trees, only ones a Bramley, 2 conference pears, 2 peach trees these gave me a fantasic crop last year. All sorts of shrubs for fruit, gooseberries, blueberris, even a couple of vines and a few kiwis, although they never give any fruit. I'm pretty self sufficient, I grow potatoes in barrels and peas, and an assortment of vegetables all in containers these days. As you know I make all my own food, bread, sausage, curries all from scratch as you might say. I wish I could grow the spices:)

      I'm chittling my potatoes for this year and getting all the growing trays sorted. Sorry to be a bore:(

      nice to hear from you again, how's the computer saga? As soon as you get your own sorted I'll send my book for you.

      take care

      ttfn ...tally-ho

    • profile image

      stessily 6 years ago

      Tony, White balsamic vinegar! I have not been able to locate it. Unfortunately I didn't have white balsamic vinegar on my mind whenever I was in Chicago; I am confident that it's stocked in the Windy City. Certainly white balsamic would work well with fish or chicken or whatever you create.

      I'm pleased that your Bramleys found their final resting place in the compost pile. I'm commiserating that you'll "have to buy apples" until October.:-) Do you have apple trees?


    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 6 years ago from Yorkshire

      Hi Stessily

      I consider piccalilli as part of my five a day. Frustrating as it is I now have to wait about six to eight weeks before eating it, oh dear I forgot to put that, I will have edit the hub.

      The juice and seeds went into that night's curry, so they were not wasted.

      Yes Fabio and I have become very good friends since we started cooking together, we both have the same passion for food. Do you know the French chef Raymond Blanc? he is the most passionate foody that I have ever met. He has a TV programme at the moment where he is touring France and cooking as he goes, it is great.

      I think you once mentioned you like Balsamic vinegar, I bought some 'white balsamic' today, I've not tried it yet; it will maybe be better for fish and chicken because of the colour.

      Talking of compost heaps, I sent the last of my Bramleys there this morning, I made another of the Torte di Mele for some friends and used up any that were good, but the rest well what can I say. So now until October I will have to buy apples.

      We are having an amazing mild spell here, 19degrees C 58f yesterday, sometimes we don't get that in June:}

      see ya


    • profile image

      stessily 6 years ago

      Tony, Very nice recipe for Picalilli. It's so colorful and has such a satisfying taste!

      I especially appreciate this sentence in your hub: " take out the seeds and juice, but don’t throw it away." Never ever do I throw anything away in the kitchen; I always find a way to reuse or recycle. If nothing else, there's the compost pile.

      Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.

      Your culinary adventures with Fabio are great. It's nice to have a cooking buddy.


    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 6 years ago from Yorkshire

      Hi kashmir56

      nice to hear from you again, I hope you give it a try. I just love the stuff eeach time I make a batch I make it slightly different, my son always takes a few bottles home with him.

      good luck


    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 6 years ago from Yorkshire


      thank you for commenting, very much appreciated, I also hope you will try and enjoy this wonderful pickle.


    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi my friend thanks for sharing this great information on Piccadilly and how and when to best use it. Loved all the great pictures to, great job !

      Useful and vote up !!!

    • lex123 profile image

      lex123 6 years ago

      Looks yummy....! Thanks for sharing.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)