Csalamádé is as varied as families are. My grandmother made fermented csalamádé while others pack csalamádé in jars and refrigerate them.
In this method, the hot water bath kills off the yeast that would ferment the vegetables and substitutes the yeast action with a brine. Whatever is your preference, the brine can be mildly sour or stronger. It is important to process the bottles for 30 minutes in a hot water bath to kill off all the yeast.
If you have canning jars that have been around for a few years, start processing them in cold water and wait for 15 minutes before removing the bottles from the hot bath. Sudden temperature change can break older bottles.
The prep work involved in Csalamádé is certainly worth it. These mixed veggies go wonderfully with salads, sandwiches, veggie trays, and savory dips. They can even be added on top of a grain bowl for a delicious, tangy kick. The options are limitless!
Csalamádé–Hungarian Pickled Mixed Vegetables
- 1 large green cabbage, sliced
- 4 cups sliced pickling cucumbers
- 4 bell peppers, any colour, chopped
- 4 large carrots, sliced
- 2 medium red onion, sliced
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 1/2 cup vinegar
- 4 cups water
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp + 4 tsp salt
- 3 bay leaves
- vegetable juice [from salting the vegetables]
1. Wash the vegetables thoroughly and slice them up. You don’t need to peel the cucumber. If you want pretty jars, you can use many different colored peppers/paprika. Place them in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt, sugar, caraway seeds, the mustard seeds, and vinegar. Break the bay leaves into smaller pieces, toss and let it rest for 4-6 hours at least.
2. Once the mix has rested, place the vegetables in the prepared jars. When they are full, fill them up with the vegetable juice from the bowl. It’s worth stuffing the jars with a lot of veggies so the taste will be even better.
(Feel free to experiment! For example, my mom loves to make other variations too, such as only using cabbage and carrots, or she uses cherry paprika instead of bell peppers.)
Also by Imola: Vegan & Gluten-Free Austrian Torn Pancakes (Kaiserschmarrn)
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Photos: Imola Tóth