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Kriya Gangiah’s Kumquat Pickle Recipe

Kriya Gangiah’s Kumquat Pickle Recipe

Kriya shares her delicious kumquat pickle recipe as she celebrates everything it means to be Indian South African
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 10 people
Author: Kriya Gangiah


Soaking ingredients

  • 1.5 litre Lukewarm Water
  • 15 ml Bicarbonate of Soda (or baking soda)

Pickle achar mix

  • 1.25 kg Kumquats
  • 25 ml Salt
  • 5 ml Turmeric
  • 60 ml Chili powder
  • 30 ml Cumin seeds
  • 500 ml Sugar
  • 500 ml Vinegar
  • 125 ml Corn flour
  • 125 ml Water

Tempering mix

  • 375 ml Sunflower oil
  • 30 ml Mustard seeds
  • 8 whole Green chilis slit open
  • 10 cloves Garlic half sliced
  • 2 bunches Curry Leaves



  • Place the kumquats in a medium size bowl. Cover with 1.25 litres lukewarm water and add the bicarbonate soda and mix through until dissolved. Leave the fruit to soak for 20 minutes, rinse under running water and drain. This should remove any dirt, mould spores and other residue. 

How to prepare the kumquats

  • Remove the green stem and slice each kumquat in half. Place all the cut kumquats into a bowl and sprinkle over the salt, turmeric, chili powder and cumin seeds. Toss the fruits in the bowl to ensure the spices are distributed evenly and allow to sit while you prepare the other items.
  • Mix the corn flour and half a cup of water together ensuring there are no lumps. In a large pot, bring the vinegar and sugar to a boil then add the corn flour mixture, whisking continuously to ensure it doesn’t clump. After 2-3 minutes, when the vinegar mixture has thickened and the corn flour is cooked, add the kumquats and cook for a further 2 minutes on low heat to allow the spices and vinegar mix to infuse before removing the pot from the heat.

Tempering the spices

  • Heat the oil in a clean pot over medium-high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the mustard seeds, chilis, garlic and curry leaves then reduce the heat to medium. The mustard seeds will pop and the chili, garlic and curry leaves may sputter so take care when tempering the spices. This process should take no more than 2-3 minutes. Make sure you remove the pot from the heat before the garlic turns brown or the spices burn.
  • Add the hot oil mixture to the kumquat and vinegar/corn flour mixture and mix through with a big spoon until it forms a thick coating. Allow the kumquat pickle achar to cool before decanting into jars.


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