I am of course a fan of all things fermented, but it can be easy to get in a rut with making ferments, sticking to sauerkraut or kombucha and not venturing out into new ferment territory. This Curry Cauliflower-Onion Chutney is just the thing to mix up your ferment game. All sorts of condiments can be made into a lacto-fermented version, and this chutney is a great one to start with.
This recipe can be lacto-fermented just using the salt method like sauerkraut or can be made by adding whey, drained from probiotic yogurt . The whey acts as a starter culture to get the fermentation process started. You can make salsas, chutneys, sauces and relishes using whey as your starter, but you can also make them without, or substitute a dairy-free starter like sauerkraut juice or brine from pickled vegetables. Using the whey makes the fermentation happen more quickly, so the ferment will be done within a few days instead of a week or two. I like to ferment the veggies in larger pieces and then puree to my preferred consistency before using, as I find it is easier to keep the veggies submerged in brine. You can puree this as thin as you like, or leave it in larger chunks for more texture.
Cauliflower-Onion Chutney is stinky yet delicious and goes great in a variety of dishes. You can serve alone or add a scoop into plain yogurt for a quick raita to serve alongside your favorite Indian dishes. I suggest you try it folded into scrambled eggs with spinach and goat cheese then served with warm naan bread. Of course, simply added to a tossed salad would be great or even on a brat with curry ketchup. Get wild with this one! You can adjust the heat to your comfort level by increasing the amount of pepper flakes or throwing a fresh hot pepper in if you like.
Lacto-Fermented Curry Cauliflower Onion Chutney
Makes ~2 quarts
3 cups cauliflower, finely chopped--about 1 head
1 cup green cabbage, finely chopped
1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
4” fresh ginger, grated
1 Tbs whole cumin seeds
2 tsp whole mustard seeds, black or yellow
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp whole coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder ( or 1 Tbs fresh grated turmeric)
1 tsp curry powder
4 Tbs liquid whey or brine, optional
~2 Tbs sea salt
Combine the cauliflower, cabbage, onion, garlic and ginger in a large bowl. Add salt, using the ratio of 1 tsp per pound of vegetables. Massage the salt into the vegetables until the are softened and produce an adequate amount of brine.
Add the spices and whey to the vegetable mixture. You may want to use gloves if mixing by hand, as the turmeric will stain your skin.
Transfer the mixture to a quart jar and tamp down with a wooden spoon to remove air and push up the brine. Place a weight on top of the mixture to keep the vegetables submerged in the brine. Add a non-reactive lid, not too tightly, and leave at room temperature out of direct sunlight.
Ferment for about 3-5 days if using starter, or 10-14 days if not, until it has a slightly tangy flavor and fermented smell.
For a finer, chutney-like texture, pulse several times in the food processor or blender to your preferred texture. Return to the jar and press down to push brine to the surface.
Transfer to the fridge for storage, where it will keep for several months.
Brine & Broth
I am a gut health-focused nutritionist and online health coach based in Southwest Wisconsin. My recipes and philosophies center around traditional, nutrient-dense foods that support robust gut health.