Torshi – Persian Pickles
Ever since old times, torshi has been a regular side dish in Persian cuisines. It’s made with vinegar and a wide variety of vegetables.
Persian pickles are very diverse, and their recipes are usually simple. You just need to wash the ingredients, drain them, chop them up and pour them into a jar with some salt and spice. Pour in the vinegar and you’re done!
Making homemade torshi is one of the best ways to add side dishes to your meals. Side dishes increase your appetite and help you enjoy your main course even more, especially if the side dishes are fresh and homemade!
On this page, I’m going to post several Persian torshi recipes. I hope you make and enjoy them!
What are the different types of Persian torshi?
Since you can make torshi with so many different fruits and vegetables, there are numerous kinds of Persian pickles. Some of the most famous ones are:
- Torshi makhloot
- Hafteh Bijar mixed pickle (Makhloot-e Haft Bijar)
- Onion torshi
- Cherry pickle
- Mango pickle (Torshi Anbeh)
- Shallot pickle
- Pepper pickle
- Torshi kalam (Persian pickled cabbage)
- Torshi bandari
- Torshi bademjan (Persian Eggplant Pickled)
- Garlic torshi
- Liteh torshi
- Liteh bademjan torshi (Eggplant Liteh)
- Lemon torshi
Many fruits and vegetables can be pickled. Fruits like mangos, green plums, and cherries are suitable for pickling. Plants like eggplants, okra, garlic, and shallots are also good for making torshi.
In Iran, even the skin of fresh pistachio, watermelons, and oranges is used for making torshi!
Making torshi doesn’t need many ingredients. Here are the main ingredients:
- Fruits or vegetables (which I’ve mentioned before)
Some people add some water or sugar to the vinegar to reduce its intensity. They’re optional.
Herbs like mint, parsley, tarragon, and savory are also used for better aroma and taste.
Persian torshi recipe
The recipes for different kinds of torshi vary, but these are the main steps:
1- Wash a jar and dry it up.
2- Wash the fruits or vegetables of your choice.
3- Let the solid ingredients dry.
4- Cut the ingredients. Add salt and turmeric.
5- Pour the ingredients into the jar.
6- Pour in the vinegar until the dry ingredients are covered by it.
7- Close the jar’s lid tightly.
8- Let the torshi pickle for at least 10 days in a dark and cool place.
How to make quick pickles?
To speed up the pickling process, you need to boil the vinegar. Once it reaches the boiling point, pour the dry ingredients in and let them cook until they soften. The onions need to boil for 5 minutes but cauliflowers don’t need more than 1 minute in the boiling vinegar.
Sieve the fruits/vegetables to get the excess vinegar out. Add salt and spices and pour everything into the jar.
Remember that the eggplants should be cooked either way since raw eggplant doesn’t absorb the vinegar well.
How long until the torshi is ready?
Pickles that are made with boiled vinegar take a few days to get ready.
Some, like garlic pickles, can take up to 3 years. The more they’re left to pickle, the better they will taste. They’re called 3-year-old garlic pickles. Iranians have 7-year-old garlic pickles too that melt in the mouth and do not cause bad breath.
In general, boiling the fruit/vegetables with vinegar speeds up the pickling process. Fruits with a soft texture, like cherries and mangoes, do not require boiling.
What are some important tips on making Persian pickles?
The most important thing you should pay attention to is not to use wet ingredients. The smallest amount of water on the dry ingredients, and the torshi will mold.
The jar should be clean and thoroughly dry. Fruits and vegetables should be completely free of moisture too.
If the jar or the ingredients are even slightly wet, the torshi becomes susceptible to molding.
Another important thing is that the jar’s lid should be shut tight. Airflow will cause molds.
One more thing is that you should not use oily utensils to take the pickles out of the jar because that causes molding too.
What containers are good for making torshi?
The most common containers are either plastic or glass. Since the vinegar might react with the plastic, it’s better to use glass containers instead.
Iranians also use clay containers called “Khomre”, jugs with a pot belly and a narrow opening. They’re usually glazed colorfully and look very beautiful.
Torshi pickles very well in khomre and tastes amazing!
Persian pickles are some of the most popular side dishes in Iran. Making them is pretty easy. You just need some fruit, plants or vegetables, and some vinegar.
Usually, the reason for pickling is to preserve vegetables and fruits during seasons other than their natural season. Pickling traces back to 4000 years ago, originating from India, in order to preserve a type of cucumber.
You can check out recipes for any kind of torshi on this page.