Today as a nation, we celebrate Heritage Day – a celebration of our country’s rich and diverse heritage. On this day, citizens come together and are encouraged to celebrate culture and the diversity of beliefs and traditions as each of these makes South Africa the rainbow nation that it is.
Also read: A few things that make us feel proudly South African
For TV and radio personality Kriya Gangiah, celebrating her Indian heritage is something that is so important to her. Indian culture has deep-etched roots in both South African history and culture and the star takes every opportunity to celebrate that.
In doing so, Kriya has shared her delicious kumquat pickle recipe as she celebrates everything it means to be Indian and South African. “Growing up, my mum always used to make pickles using recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. I have now started to carry on the tradition, even though I still have to make a phone call or two to her during the process,” Kriya shares. “I feel like pickles are the perfect addition to any dish and help build on the flavour profile and it’s something that really reminds me of my heritage growing up.”
Here’s how you can make Kriya’s kumquat recipe at home:
1.5litre lukewarm water
15 ml bicarbonate of soda (or baking soda)
Pickle achar mix
5ml turmeric powder
60ml chilli powder
30ml cumin seeds
50 ml sugar
125ml corn flour
375ml sunflower oil
30ml mustard seeds
8green chillis slit open
10cloves garlic half sliced
2bunches curry leaves
Place the kumquats in a medium size bowl. Cover with 1.25litres of lukewarm water and add the bicarbonate soda and mix through until dissolved. Leave the fruit to soak for 20 minutes, rinse under running water and drain. This should remove any dirt, mould spores and other residues.
How to prepare the kumquats
Remove the green stem and slice each kumquat in half. Place all the cut kumquats into a bowl and sprinkle over the salt, turmeric, chilli powder and cumin seeds. Toss the fruits in the bowl to ensure the spices are distributed evenly and allow to sit while you prepare the other items.
Mix the corn flour and half a cup of water together ensuring there are no lumps. In a large pot, bring the vinegar and sugar to a boil then add the corn flour mixture, whisking continuously to ensure it doesn’t clump. After 2 to 3minutes, when the vinegar mixture has thickened and the corn flour is cooked, add the kumquats and cook for a further 2 minutes on low heat to allow the spices and vinegar mix to infuse before removing the pot from the heat.
Tempering the spices
Heat the oil in a clean pot over medium-high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the mustard seeds, chilis, garlic and curry leaves then reduce the heat to medium. The mustard seeds will pop and the chilli, garlic and curry leaves may sputter so take care when tempering the spices. This process should take no more than 2 to 3minutes. Make sure you remove the pot from the heat before the garlic turns brown or the spices burn.
Add the hot oil mixture to the kumquat and vinegar/corn flour mixture and mix through with a big spoon until it forms a thick coating. Allow the kumquat pickle achar to cool before decanting into jars.
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Picture: Kryiag / Instagram