Mula ko Achar is a Nepali fermented pickle made with radish, mustard oil, and spices. It makes a great condiment with your meals.
Food fermentation has been going around for centuries and different types of fermented foods are consumed across countrie/cultures in the form of sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, sourdough bread, dosa (Indian style crepes), kombucha, tempeh and certain pickles & cheeses.
Since fermentation is listed as top 2017 food trend, I figured I'd share/introduce Mula Ko Achar (Nepali Fermented Radish Pickle) to everyone. The process of making it is similar to kimchi but radish (mula) is the main ingredient and spices used are different than kimchi. Mula Ko Achar is spicy, sour, pungent, and irresistible if yo are Nepali.
Simply put, fermentation is an anaerobic process (not requiring oxygen) where starch/sugar in fruits and vegetables are converted to compounds like alcohol, lactic acid, or gases with the help of bacteria and yeast. In this process, we are utilizing lacto-bacteria to convert into lactic acid which acts as an preservative along with salt and spices.
Fermented foods are packed with live cultures, beneficial bacteria and yeast that are not only good for our gut health but studies are showing promising, positive association with our immune system, sleep, allergies, and chronic diseases. I recommend eating fermented foods regularly and in small amounts rather than eating a whole lot in one sitting.
Mula Ko Achar (Nepali Fermented Radish Pickle) I am sharing comes my mother. You will need a handful of ingredients:
Unlike canning, fermentation doesn't require any fancy equipment or tools. You just need a clean, wide mouth mason jar and and 10-15 days of inactive time.
Mula ko Achar (Nepali Fermented Radish Pickle)
- 1 bowl
- 1 quart, wide mouth. mason jar
- 1 large daikon radish, rinsed, peeled and cut into batons (like fries)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ cup mustard oil (may substitute canola oil)
- 2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 2 teaspoon red chili powder (may add more or less per taste)
- pinch or two of timur powder (Nepali Sichuan pepper)
- In a large bowl, combine radishes, salt, and turmeric powder.
- Arrange it on a baking sheet or a tray to draw excess water out. You can let it sun-dry for few hours or on a counter top. Drain excess water and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Transfer radishes into the same bowl and add oil, mustard powder, and chili pepper and mix it well. Check the seasonings.
- Use a quart size mason jar to hold radishes. Place them in a jar gently pushing between layers. Make it as compact as possible and remove excess air bubbles in between.
- Let it sit in the sun for about 2 weeks or longer if you desire stronger, more sour pickles. Shake the jar gently every 1-2 days.
- Once ready, store it in a cool place or in the refrigerator if you want to stop pickles from being more sour.