MARINADES

It is very important to buy the best quality fruits and vegetables [firm but ripe fruits, just ripe yet tender vegetables] - and to prepare marinades within the next 24 hours.

Cucumbers, gherkins, tiny onions, green tomatoes and cauliflowers are specially good in marinades; always use them fresh, not completely ripe, perfect - without any bruise.

Do not soak, wash well all vegetables.

Peel vegetables, removing a layer that is as thin as possible.

Leave vegetables overnight in a mixture of water and brine; rinse thoroughly before cooking.

Boil vegetables in a mixture of water, vinegar, sugar, fresh whole spices [in cottoncheese cloth]; remove spices before arranging vegetables into sterilized jars, pouring in hot vinegar [4% to 6% acidity].

Use 5% acetic acid vinegar, following instructions as to recommanded quantities.

Scrupulously add recommanded salt quantities as salt both is a preserver and a seasoning.

Add recommanded sugar quantities, granulated or superfine sugar.

To prevent contamination, only use wooden, plastic or stainless-steel utensils.

The golden rule: always literally follow the recipe to the letter, respecting all hygiene, sterilisation and vacuum-packing rules.

Achar:

An Eastern Indian bamboo shoot pickle; vegetables pickled in a mixture of oil and vinegar.

Modern recipes include a mixture of bell peppers, melons, pumpkins, gherkins and mangoes.

Catsup:

Almost liquid or thicker mixture of fruits and/or vegetables [1 or 2 main ingredients] and mixed spices, even though less spicy than most other fruit sauces.

Chow Chow:

Mustard is the basic ingredient of this marinade.

Chutney:

Sweet-sour condiment made of fruits, vegetables, sugar, chili peppers and vinegar.

Piccalilli:

Marmelade made of finely minced vegetables.