Seer Torshi - Pickled Garlic



The other day I stopped at a new grocery store on my way home. I had no plans to make garlic pickles but I was excited to see these clean garlic bulbs without the dusty stems at the end. That meant I didn't have to wash them and risk getting the moisture in between the cloves. All I only needed to do was to remove the loose and dried outer layers as much as possible. I think a jar of pickled garlic makes a delicious display on the kitchen counter, especially if you use white vinegar to be able to see the inside of the jar. But of course we need to put these pickles away in a cool and dark place to ferment. Don't you love the flavor of garlic in most dishes such as yogurt, chicken, fish, lamb, beef and vegetables?

My mother not only used garlic generously in cooking to spice up the food but also she used it for its medicinal purposes to cure our coughs and colds. She would also have her daily dose of garlic to maintain her blood pressure and keep it low. I use a few cloves in recipes that call for garlic and I always have my jars of seer torshi. I usually make a jar with peeled cloves and also a jar with separated but unpeeled cloves too. The older garlic pickles get the better they taste. Garlic becomes soft and sweet and they melt in your mouth like jam.


Seer Torshi - Pickled Garlic

Ingredients:

7-8 garlic bulbs, remove the outer dried skins
2-3 cups vinegar/fill to the rim
3 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons honey

Method:
  1. Place the bulbs in a completely dry glass jar. 
  2. Add salt and honey to the vinegar in a separate glass bowl. Mix well. 
  3. Pour the mixture over the cloves. Add more vinegar if needed. All the cloves should be covered by vinegar. 
  4. Cover the lid with the plastic wrap and close tight. 
  5. Place in a cool and dark place. They'll be ready to serve after a couple of years so that they can age, and the seven year seer torshis are known for their great appetizing taste.
 Serve seer torshi with your favorite food. I like to serve it along with lamb shanks and Lima beans rice (shevid baghali polow) and eggplant dishes.

Enjoy!

46 comments:

  1. Garlic is a plant very useful in türkiyede almost all the food we use a natural antibiotic and he is great in my taste.

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  2. I bet these are addicting! Plus, the added bonus is they keep the vampires away. ;)

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  3. Mmmm. These look so pretty! And they look interestingly delicious. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Why didn't you PEEL the garlic cloves, before pickling them.

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    DocChuck,

    Ph.D., Ed.D

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  5. Doc Chuck, there are three different ways I pickle garlic:
    1- The most common and least messy of them is to use peeled garlic.
    2- The second one, which I prefer the most, is to take the cloves apart and leave them unpeeled. I find these to have a better taste and are more tender.
    3- To leave the garlic bulb intact.

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  6. Your pickles look delicious! Are they just for eating plain or would you use them in cooking?

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  7. Mimi, thank you, they are just for eating plain and they go well with steamed fish, herb rice, fried eggplants, lamb shanks...

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  8. This looks like a wonderful recipe, I'll be trying it soon. I'm not sure I'll be able to wait 2+ years, so there may have to be a few jars 'on the go'.

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  9. Out of curiosity, do you use plain white vinegar, or any vinegar available? We have plenty of malt vinegar, and wondered if that might be too strong.

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  10. Grenage, thank you so much for visiting and commenting. I use plain white vinegar and I have never tried it with malt vinegar. Let me know how it turns out!

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  11. Hey there, thank you for the reply! I'll try some malt, white, and white wine vinegar - and post back in two years, lol.

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  12. Grenage, I like the combination of all those different vinegars. I'd like to give it a try too! If you are interested in reducing the time of pickling/aging, combine all ingredients and cook on low heat for 15 minutes then place in jars and refrigerate. These pickles are ready in a month. Thanks for sharing!

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  13. hi,
    i tried your recipe two days ago with seperated, unpeeled cloves (but no honey). as i have to wait for a year or more anyway, i filled a giant 1 ltr jar wirh almost 40 garlic bulbs. but ...

    first shock was when some cloves turned blue the next day. but this seems to be normal and the colour should fade with time.

    but also the garlic in the jar develops some gas. i had to open the jar once a day so it doesnt explode. you can see hundrets of little bubbles, once you open it.

    i wonder if thats normal or if have to throw it all away :(
    cheers

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  14. Hi Wolfy, thanks for trying my recipe. I've had cloves turning blue and tiny bubbles forming in the jar but they'll subside in a short while. However, I've never had a jar of garlic pickle explode on me and I have made many! Please let me know how it turns out and please visit again.
    Best wishes,
    Azita

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  15. thanks for your reply.

    meanwhile one third of the garlic turned blue, but that seems to be ok. if your torshi produced some gas bubbles, i'm calmed down.
    probably mine produced these extensive bubbles, because i put almost 40 bulbs into that glas. hopefully :) i'll report back in year or so ...

    wolfy

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  16. great post! my grandmother made these.
    i'm just wondering, does the garlic preserved in this way actually ferment? i would think that because you're using so much vinegar, it would be too strong to undergo lacto-fermentation. but on the other hand, if you're seeing bubbles form, that could be an indicator of fermentation. any insight on this? when i make torshi with other vegetables (beets, carrots, torshi makhloot, etc.) i don't see bubbles and i don't think they're actually fermenting because the vinegar content is so high.

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  17. also, when you say to close the lid with plastic wrap, do you mean to put plastic wrap over the top of the jar and then screw on the lid over the plastic wrap? or just put plastic wrap over the jar?

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  18. Arghavan, thank you! My understanding is that the combination of vinegar, salt and honey/sugar in this recipe helps with the growth of the lactic acid bacterias and the fermentation processes.

    I like to cover the top of the jar with saran wrap and then screw on the lid especially if I'm using a glass jar with a metal lid.

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  19. oh, interesting! i didn't know that. i'm definitely going to give it a try.

    one other thing, it's not necessary to can persian torshi, is it? by canning i mean, you know, putting those special canning lids on the jars and boiling them in a hot water bath until the lids seal tight for long-term storage. non-persians do that with pickles, but my grandmother didn't do it when she made traditional persian torshi (and you don't either i've noticed). it seems that persians don't follow that canning method. why do you think that is? i'm assuming that the vinegar content is high enough that the torshi would preserve without bad bacteria forming in the jar? do you know anything about this? when i told my non-persian friend who does a lot of preserving that that's how we do it, she was shocked and said that it's unsafe. sorry if i've asked too many questions! all the best

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  20. Arghavan, like your grandmother, myself and many Iranians don't do the boiling water bath method of canning. I simply wash the cans thoroughly with soap and hot water. However, I strongly believe in food safety and that's why I usually include a link for safe canning methods in my posts. One of the reasons perhaps for not using a hot water bath canning method is that for generations Iranians pickled all sorts of vegetables in large-size koozeh(clay pots) and stored them in their cool basements. The practice still continues in many towns in Iran. Thank you for asking these questions.

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  21. that's what i thought too! i like the koozeh way.

    i followed your recipe for this garlic torshi and made it two days ago, but i don't see any bubbles yet. how long does it usually take for the fermentation to happen?

    thanks again!

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  22. also, the bubbles are supposed to be foam-like right? i'm getting a few air bubbles which don't look foam-like. i think they're just air bubbles and not fermentation

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  23. Arghavan, with garlic it takes several weeks for the fermentation process to occur. I wouldn't be able to tell you exactly how long it takes because I've never quite monitored the process. I basically make the pickle and put it away for at least 2-3 years. For those who are interested in reducing the time of pickling/aging: combine all ingredients in a good quality and heavy-bottom pot, bring it to a boil over medium heat, reduce heat, cook on low heat for about 15 minutes and then place the jars in a cool place. Another method is to place the garlic jar outside in the sun or by window that is exposed to a lot of sunglight and the pickle will be fermented by the heat.

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  24. Hi Azita, I made sir torshi a few weeks ago and was checking it and saw it had lots of bubbles. I opened one jar and it foamed up a lot. Thought I had done something wrong, but read your posts and feel better. I did add some more kosher salt and vinegar. Thanks!

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  25. I've made a couple of these jars, and while in both cases some vinegar forced its way out of the jar (looks like fermentation gas + pressure), all was fine.

    Oddly, the garlic only sank to the bottom in one of the jars - the others still flat at the top. Do you think this would be a problem, with them not being completely submerged?

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  26. Anonymous, you'll need to pack the garlic as tightly as you can leaving little room on top and add enough vinegar to cover them. They need to be completely submerged in the vinegar.

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  27. I figured as much, thank you!

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  28. what ? 2 years? thats too longggg..cant wait to eat that!

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  29. i made seer torshi a year ago and at the time i filled the jar with vinegar, though now its seems that the garlic has absorbed some of the vinegar and the garlic at the top of jar is no longer bathing in vinegar. is this normal? and if the garlic is not in vinegar could this mean that there is a risk of bad bacteria forming on the garlic?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it is normal. You might want to remove those few garlic cloves that were not covered by vinegar and simply add more vinegar to the jar.

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  30. Hi there. Is it ok to use a plastic jar rather than glass? I wanna make a large quantity in one container and I have a big enough container but it's plastic. Thanks

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    Replies
    1. It's ok to use a food-grade plastic jar for pickling.

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  31. Dear Azita is it possible to make seer turshi on comercial basis(business purpose) and in short time period?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, combine all ingredients in a pot, bring to a simmer, cook on low heat for about 15 minutes. Place the jars in a cool place. Another method is to place the garlic jars outside in the sun or by window that is exposed to a lot of sunlight.

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  32. Nice job Azita... How ever for Honey I recommend only best ones like Manuka or Sidr and for Vinegar I recommend Apple Cider Vinegar (Organic)

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  33. Hi, Azita!
    What is the acidity of vinegar? 5%, 9%.. or other percentage?

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  34. My dad makes these with balsamic vinegar and they're delicious!

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  35. hi - do you reuse the vinagar once you remove the garlic?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I reuse it to make another batch of seer torshi.

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    2. Hi Azita, I do live in Brazil and i´ll make this delicious and healthy recepy so you can plan to come over in a couple of years for a visit and try it to see if i did okay, Obrigado .

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  36. The other day I opened a big jar of seer torshi from March 1989.
    It was prepared by my beloved father-in-law, who died in April this year at the age of 95.
    This deep dark vintage seer torshi is so soft and tender, the gloves are melting in the mouth.

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