Sweet Piccalilli

Makes four large jars (Hellman's mayonnaise size)

Uses courgettes instead of cucumber




  • 1 cauliflower cut into small florets
  • 1lb (450g) small pickling onions – quartered
  • 1 courgette cut into small chunks
  • ½ grated nutmeg (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon powdered allspice
  • 12oz (350g) caster sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed (mix with 3 teaspoons of salt to make a paste)
  • 1oz (25g) turmeric
  • 2oz (50g) dry mustard powder
  • 2 pints (450ml) malt vinegar – for a lighter colour use ½ malt and ½ white vinegar
  • 7 tablespoons plain flour mixed into a smooth paste with extra ½ vinegar and ½ water mixture (place the flour in a small bowl and gradually add the vinegar and water mix)





  1. Place the cauliflower florets, onion, 2 pints of vinegar in a large pan
  2. Add allspice and nutmeg
  3. Bring to the boil
  4. Cover and simmer for 8 minutes
  5. Remove the lid and add courgettes, sugar and garlic/salt paste
  6. Stir well and bring back to the boil
  7. Simmer for 5 minutes (no more!)
  8. Place a large colander over a large bowl
  9. Pour the contents of the pan into the colander and leave to drain – keeping the vinegar
  10. Mix the mustard powder, turmeric and flour paste in a bowl.
  11. Gradually work in more extra vinegar and water to form a fairly loose paste
  12. Add a ladle of hot vinegar of the drained vinegar
  13. Stir to blend
  14. Continue to add ladles of drained vinegar until all is blended
  15. Transfer the mixture into a saucepan
  16. Bring to the boil whilst whisking with a balloon whisk
  17. Gradually add the remaining hot drained vinegar
  18. Boil gently for 5 minutes
  19. Place the vegetables into a large pan or bowl
  20. Pour over the vinegar sauce
  21. Stir well
  22. Spoon the mixture into warm screw top jars
  23. Keep for 3 months before eating. (That is if you can resist it for that long!)




Boiling vinegar does give off quite a lot of fumes so it is advisable to have the room that you are working in well ventilate. We often make ours outside using a camping stove!


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