When we first moved into our condo in Singapore, there was a row of vacant shops in the bottom of our building. Our real estate agent mentioned that the vacant shop on the corner might end up being a cafe. I was excited! Coffee a 1 minute walk away…awesome! A few weeks later there was movement in the vacant shop and I kept peeking in, hoping to see signs of a western-style cafe. Then a grocer opened and I was disappointed. In hindsight, it would be highly unlikely that the coffee would have been any good and the excellent grocer we have now is heaps better then a cafe anyway. It’s a fairly small shop but packed so tight with goodies that I can hardly fit in between the aisles. We often pop down when we need some milk or a naughty 9pm ice cream.
The family that owns it is really lovely and they also have a great selection of Indian / Pakistani / Sri Lankan spices. A lot of them are labelled with their Indian names though, so I have to rely on the smell and look of them. A few weeks back, I bought a small bag of ‘meithi’ from there, which I’m almost certain is what I know as fenugreek. So when I couldn’t find dill seed anywhere for this recipe, I visited our lovely grocer downstairs. I found these ajwain seeds and they looked and smelt the part. I was so sure they were dill. When I got back upstairs I looked them up and found that while they are known to be like dill, they are definitely the seeds from a different plant. They are a really strong smelling seed so while I confidently used these in place of the dill seeds that I originally wanted, I’d recommend using a smaller amount if directly substituting for dill seed.
I wasn’t sure that these pickled dill cucumbers were going to work at first. I left them pickling in the dill infused vinegar mix for three weeks. As soon as I opened the jar though, I got that classic dill pickle smell and I knew they were going to be good. Like my sweet pickled onions, these do their pickling in the fridge so they aren’t as pickled as a commercial product and they certainly aren’t that deep green colour that you see on gherkins. They are delicious though and really crunchy which is great!
These pickles do need to be refrigerated but they have been in my fridge unopened for 3 weeks now and I am confident that they will last at least another month.
I used these mini cucumbers again, try and get pickling cucumbers if you can or try pickling some mini Lebanese cucumbers
This is the stem end NOT the blossom end.
When I was reading up on different ways to pickle, I found a few sites that said to make sure you trim the blossom end off the cucumber. Apparently if it’s left on, it can sometimes affect the pickling process. I guessed it wouldn’t matter as much for this kind of pickling, but I wasn’t game to risk it, so I attempted to chop off a very small part of each blossom end. Great, no problems there. Although, since then, I’ve realised that the blossom end is the other end that would have been opposite to the stem. So I cut the wrong end off *facepalm* the good news is, leaving the blossom end intact had no affect on these pickles.
I used a long jar so that I could put the cucumbers in standing up. I cut a few to fit them in better on the top layer so that they were packed in quite tightly.
Make sure you get all of the ajwain or dill seeds into the jar when you pour the pickling liquid in.
What’s your favourite way to eat pickles? I love a sliced pickled cucumber on my burger :)
Pickled Dill Cucumbers
Ingredients – Makes enough for a 4 cup capacity jar
- 10 small cucumbers (or enough to fit jar snugly)
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 tbs fine salt (preservative and additive free)
- 1tsp raw sugar
- ¼ tsp ajwain or substitute with ½ tsp dill seed
- 4 big fronds of dill leaf, most of the stalk removed
- Cut the blossom end off each cucumber.
- In a small saucepan, mix the vinegar, salt, sugar and ajwain or dill seed with 1 cup of water. Heat over low heat stirring just until the salt and sugar has dissolved.
- Place half of the dill leaf in the bottom of the jar then place the cucumbers in the jar on top of the dill. A few or all of the cucumbers can be cut to fit in the jar if necessary.
- Place the rest of the dill leaf on top of the cucumbers, then pour over the pickling liquid, ensuring that the cucumbers and dill are completely submerged.
- Place the lid on the jar then let cool slightly before refrigerating.
- Let the cucumbers pickle in the refrigerator for at least a week.