Torshi Liteh - Persian Pickled Eggplant and Vegetables with Sibzamini Torshi (Sunchokes)


ترشی - Torshi (pickle) is a very common side dish in Persian cuisine served alongside rice and khoresh, kebobs and other traditional dishes. I have posted several of my favorite pickle recipes so far such as pickled eggplant and pickled vegetables among others.  لیته - Liteh is a combination of pickled eggplant with a few other vegetables and herbs. For this recipe I'm thrilled to have finally found  سیب زمینی ترشی - sibzamini torshi (pickling potato), also known as  یارالماسی - yaralmasy in Iran. Sibzamini torshi, which is called sunchokes/Jerusalem chokes, is a member of the sunflower family and is not related to artichokes nor is it from Jerusalem. For further information please check out the following link on sunchokes.


A few years ago, I asked my younger brother who lives in Iran to send me a picture of the sibzamini torshi that's cultivated in Iran. I didn't want to forget what they looked like. It wasn't until recently that after leaving my dentist's office, I walked into the Whole Foods market across the street and there among the neat and organized fresh vegetables was a small box of sunchokes. They looked a lot like ginger roots and they came in different shapes and sizes. I was so excited to have finally found what I was looking for and I figured they would make a nice addition to torshi liteh by adding
a nutty flavor and a bit of a crunch.


 If you are unable to find sunchokes in any vegetable markets just leave it out since liteh is traditionally made without it. For this recipe you can use grilled eggplant instead of having it simmered in vinegar.. If you use grilled eggplant, remove the skin, slice and combine with all the other ingredients. For the herbs, you can use fresh herbs if you prefer. I used dried herbs since I didn't have enough time after washing to lay them out to dry completely.


Torshi Liteh

Ingredients:

5 medium eggplants, stemmed, sliced lengthwise (I didn't remove the skin, you can if you prefer)
4-5 sunchokes, peeled, cubed
2 large carrots, peeled, cubed
2 celery stalks, diced small
1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 medium green bell pepper, cleaned, cubed
5-7 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons dried tarragon
2 tablespoons dried mint
2 tablespoons dried savory
2 tablespoons dried dill
2 tablespoons dried basil

1 tablespoon crushed golpar (angelica)
1 tablespoon siah daneh (nigella seeds)
1 tablespoon crushed tokhm-e geshniz (coriander seeds)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 small whole dried red pepper, crushed (or more to taste)
Salt
White vinegar
Water

Method:

  1. Pour 1 cup of vinegar and a cup of water into a non-reactive saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat, add the turmeric, eggplant and 1 teaspoon of salt, then reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Remove the eggplant and place in a colander to drain.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggplant, sunchokes, carrots, celery, cauliflower, bell pepper, garlic, herb mix, spices and 3 teaspoons salt. Mix well.
  4. Pack the torshi into the clean and dried jars, pressing down, pour the vinegar over them up to about 1 inch from the top. Close the jars tightly and pickle for 10-12 days.
Enjoy!