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Pam's Piccalilli
Pam's Piccalilli
added by Every Day

Pam the Jam turns her hand to piccalilli in River Cottage Every Day.

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Prep time
  • 24 hours (leave for 6 weeks)
Cook Time
  • 3-4 minutes
  • Makes 6 x 340g jars
  • * 2kg washed, peeled vegetables - select 5 or 6 from the following: cauliflower or romanesco cauliflower, radish, green beans, cucumbers, courgettes, green or yellow tomatoes, tomatilloes, carrots, small silver-skinned onions or shallots, peppers, nasturtium seed pods
  • * 100g fine sea salt
  • * 60g cornflour
  • * 20g ground turmeric
  • * 20g English mustard powder
  • * 20g ground ginger
  • * 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • * 2 tsp crushed cumin seeds
  • * 2 tsp crushed coriander seeds
  • * 1.2 litres cider vinegar
  • * 300g granulated sugar
  • * 100g honey
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1. Cut the veg into small, even, bite-sized pieces. Place in a large colander over a bowl, and sprinkle with the salt. Mix well, cover with a tea towel and leave in a cool place for 24 hours, then rinse the veg with ice-cold water and drain thoroughly.

2. Blend the cornflour, turmeric, mustard powder, ginger, mustard seeds, cumin and coriander to a smooth paste with a little of the vinegar. Put the rest of the vinegar into a saucepan with the sugar and honey and bring to the boil. Pour a little of the hot vinegar over the blended spice paste, stir well and return to the pan. Bring gently to the boil. Boil for 3-4 minutes to allow the spices to release their flavours into the thickening sauce.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully fold the well-drained vegetables into the hot, spicy sauce. Pack the pickle into warm, sterilised jars and seal immediately with vinegar-proof lids. Leave for about 6 weeks before opening. Use within a year.

35 replies
Replied on

I have been making a 'tweaked' version of this recipe for our local Farmers Market... it is a great seller and really popular...

Replied on

I have just made this piccalilli, it's a dirty yellow colour, is it meant to be like that? It doesn't look as yummy as the photo. I made it in a cast iron pot, could that have made a difference?
I hope it tastes okay!!!!

Replied on

Made a 2nd batch today as I was delighted with the first results. The only word of warning I have is that when I 'wetted' the dry ingredients and tried to mix it with the hot vinegar, I ended up with lumps which i assume is the corn flour clotting. On my 2nd attempt I made doubly sure the dry ingredients were first mixed with some cold vinegar followed by the addition of some of the hot vinegar. I then carefully incorporated it into the vinegar mixture. Like others I am struggling to leave it 6 weeks! Hope this helps.

Replied on

I made this today and am thrilled with the results.I decided to do one and a half measures of the mustard sauce.I couldn't get any fancy vineyard so used Sarsons distilled pickling vinegar.
The recipe filled seven jars. It will be hard to leave it for six weeks.

Replied on

I had never eaten piccalilli before as it always looks so unappetising in the jars in the supermarket. When I saw Pam make this on River Cottage it looked so nice I had to try it. I have made it three times now and it is delicious! The first time I made it I forgot that cornflower has this odd habit of going into a solid lump when you add liquid but if you keep adding the cold vinegar and stirring it will eventually make a nice paste. Also, when adding the cornflower mix to the pan it is essential to keep stirring the hot vinegar whilst the cornflower mixes in, otherwise you get a huge gooey lump.

I also find that adding the cold vegetables to the sauce makes everything tepid and it's best to put really hot food into your hot jars to get a good airtight seal, so I re-heat the piccalilli till it's nice and hot before putting it in jars.

A very simple and very tasty recipe. I am now a huge piccalilli fan!

Replied on

Great recipe - really easy to follow even with only basic understanding of pickle making, provided you actually read it properly. Those of you struggling with making the cornflour paste note the instruction to use a small amount of cold vinegar first to make the initial paste - not hot vinegar. I searched for years for a good recipe that didn't involve cooking the vegetables in the sauce and finally eureka!

Replied on

Made this recipe today and like others I cut the sugar down by 100 grams. I lasted about 5 hours before tasting it. Really really nice and if improves over the next six weeks it will be sensational! I had no problems with consistency although I made a very watery paste before adding the hot vinegar.

Replied on

As we live in Greece and can't buy things like piccalilli, I have just made some with this recipe (more or less). I cut back the sugar to 200gm as suggested and this was a wise decision as I don't like sweet piccalilli, but unfortunately cider vinegar is not available here so I had to use white wine vinegar. As a result the overall taste is a little lacking in acidity. Any suggestions? I was wondering if the juice of a lemon may help next time?

Replied on

Made this recipe 6 weeks ago. Gave some to friends, have since received the jars back with very favourable comments. Also tried it myself. Even a month early. Have since had to make another batch. Easy, very tasty. To be recommended.

Replied on

I made this recipe last year and everybody I gave a jar too enjoyed it. When I came to try my own jar it seemed too salty and the sauce was too thick, so I have just made my second batch and I cut down on the cornflour by 10g, cut down on the sugar by 100g and I made sure I really washed the veg of salt and having just tasted it IT'S MAGIC. Hope everyone else agrees. And it's really easy to make. Thanks Pam and Hugh

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