Quick Spring Radish Pickle

On an evening when I am tired, yes like this one, I love to riff though pictures to tell you about some food that is colorful, spicy and simple. The last is important, someone my tired brain gets a pick up from thinking about food, but cannot quite handle something too complex.

There in my collections, waiting for me was this radish pickle that I have not yet shared with anyone, certainly not on this little space. This was my first spring creation, well almost, before the spring radishes we had the wild garlic.

Indian pickles are yet another tradition, that I did not know much about I mean, most pickles at least the savory variety pack a generous amount of heat. I did not really care much for chilies as a child. Also, I did not really help much by way of real cooking in the kitchen, but I watched and watched and watched. So, what happened with pickles? Well, traditional pickles are not just about watching, they tend to be sun dried and mellowed into their state of spicy perfection.

For the longest time, I did not do much by way of pickles, but then it was the husband thing. He likes pickles with rice and lentils, and I love rice and lentils. It is my idea of ultimate and simple comfort. Sure, his mom sends pickles and makes them while she is here, but I could not help wishing that I could make some too! It was like, I can make pickles, I know I can…

Now, here in New York, the sun does not always co-operate. So, I have two recipes for adapted pickles. I par cook them, so that we are not quite reliant on the sun to complete the spice absorption process. The two pickles are adapted and inspired from very different sources.

The second one is made with cauliflowers and shall tell you about it, when its turn arrives.

Radishes, in our backyard are a harbinger of spring, they are the first to surface actually, right along side the asparagus and the not to forget the green garlic that we have been foraging this year.

The preferred Indian radish is the white daikon, but this lovely red and simple radish wooed and converted me a long time ago. It pretty red tones made quite a believer of this non-radish eating girl. This year in fact, the kids have been growing radishes in their little patch.

Quick Radish Pickle

Prep Time: 1 day (to let the pickle mature)

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Makes 1 and 1/2 cups (about 2 small jars)


20 red radishes, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1/3 cup oil (preferably mustard)

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1 teaspoon panchphoron

2 limes

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon red chili powder

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

1 teaspoon sugar

Method of Preparation

1. Place the radishes and the salt in the colander for about 20 minutes.

2. Heat the mustard oil for about 1 and a 1/2 minutes until the oil is smoking.

3. Add in the mustard seeds and wait till they crackle.

4. Grind the panch phoran to a powder.

5. Add in the radishes and reduce the heat to low.

6. Cut the limes and squeeze the juice in a separate container.

7. Add in the turmeric, ginger and chili powder and toss to coat and cook for about 1 minute.

8. Add in the lime juice and the ground panchphoron and the sugar.

9. Add in the sesame seeds, stir well and turn off the heat.

10. Let the radish pickle cool thoroughly.

11. Store in small jars. They can be sealed or stored in the refrigerator for up to six months.


About rinkub


  1. Jenny says:

    Can this recipe be canned? I have lots of radishes from our garden and this looks like a great recipe but looking for something that can be preserved longer.

  2. Mary says:

    Hi Rinku,
    I made these a few weeks ago and they were amazing. I bought a whole lot of daikons so I can make them again (my 2 jars didn’t last very long!), but I’m wondering – how many cups (or lbs, or kg) would you say 20 red radishes is? For substitution purposes.
    Thanks so much,

    • rinkub says:

      Hi Mary,

      Yes, this is the challenge of working with garden produce, I do not often have weights, however 20 red radishes sliced and packed will make about 1 cup. Hope this helps!

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