Torshi (Pickled Vegetables)

Torshi is a pickled vegetable side dish enjoyed in Persian culture. It is the hot sauce or chutney of Persian food. The word “torshi” is derived from the Persian word “torsh,” which means sour.

Iran has hundreds of different types of torshi with variations in flavors and the vegetables and seasonings used. Making homemade torshi is common during the autumn months and enjoyed during the cooler seasons.

Personally, I remember eating torshi year round! Lunch or dinner at my grandmother’s house almost always included a small bowl of her homemade torshi to complete the meal.

I enjoy adding torshi to drier dishes such as our Persian Macaroni, Just Egg and Potatoes, Kotlet, and the KooKoo recipes (all on our blog). It adds a vibrant, complex side to the food.

My cousin Sina gave me the inspiration to try to recreate my grandmother’s torshi recipe. Little did I realize how much work went into the homemade torshi that she made. I remember she used to make a huge batch of her torshi and give it to neighbors, friends, and family. It was a true labor of love.

Her torshi is delicious, full of flavor, and I am happy to share our best effort at recreating it.

“The people who give you their food give you their heart.” – Cesar Chavez

Ingredients

  • 3 eggplants (washed and cut into 3 pieces – no need to peel)
  • 1 cauliflower head (chopped into small 1 inch pieces)
  • 16 oz bag of baby carrots (chopped into small 1/2 inch pieces)
  • 1 celery bunch (leaves removed, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces)
  • 1 cilantro bunch (chopped finely)
  • 12 small whole green chili peppers (we use Serrano chili)
  • 12 whole garlic cloves
  • 24 oz apple cider vinegar (divided)
  • 1/2 Tbsp turmeric
  • salt to taste

Directions

  1. Cook the eggplant in 1 cup of water and 3 cups of apple cider vinegar in a medium pot on medium heat for about 1 hour. The eggplant should be cooked and tender. Take off heat, and let the eggplant and vinegar mixture cool. Then mash the cooled eggplant in the pot with a masher. Set aside.
  2. Mix in a large bowl all the vegetables. Add the mashed eggplant/vinegar mixture. Add the remaining apple cider vinegar. Add 1 cup water. Add the salt and turmeric. Mix well.
  3. Transfer to individual mason jars. We recommend letting the jars sit at room temperature for at least 4 days for the flavors to blend before using.
  4. May be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature – I prefer room temperature.
  5. Noosh-e-Jan (Enjoy)!