One of my favorite Indian take-out places in New York makes a vibrant magenta onion and beet pickle they include with every order. It's a bit unexpected, but aside from being a visual contrast from the earthy tones of Indian food, it provides a sweet and tangy flavor contrast that's marvelous with a fiery Vindaloo.
I actually contemplated ordering a container of just the pickles to keep around for other uses, but then it occurred to me that I probably had all the ingredients I'd need to make them myself. The process is utterly simple and if you're in a hurry, you'll have pickles you can serve in under an hour.
I deliberately made these rather neutral in flavor (i.e. no spices) so they would work with all kinds of food. Try them with Indian food, or put them in a banh mi, heck, try brighten up your next platter of charcuterie with these tasty pickles.
- Salt the onions and beets and let them stand at room temperature for at least 20 minutes. Squeeze as much liquid as you can out of both the beets and onions, then add them to a bowl along with the vinegar, honey, salt and cilantro.
- The pickles are best after pickling for at least a day, and they will keep in the fridge for a very long time.