Curried Carrot Sauerkraut

Here’s the recipe for my latest fermented vegetable experiment which I slightly adapted from Baden:

Curried Carrot Sauerkraut

  • 1/2 head green cabbage, finely chopped or shredded
  • 1/2 head purple cabbage, finely chopped or shredded
  • 6 – 7 carrots, shredded
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 – 2 T. curry
  • 2 t. salt (I use coarse Celtic)

Mix all of the vegetables together, and then mix in the curry.  Pack the mixture into glass jars. Add filtered water until the combined vegetable juices (if any) and water just cover the vegetables; add sea salt to the top.  Make sure that all of the vegetables are covered with liquid.  When there isn’t enough liquid, the vegetables on top will get moldy instead of fermenting.  Leave about an inch between the top of the liquid and the jar to allow room for the juices to expand.

Cover with a tight lid or a cheesecloth and rubber band/ canning jar ring – the second option allows the gasses that build up to be released so you don’t find liquid leaking out all over your counter the next morning.  Sally Fallon of Nourishing Traditions says that because lacto fermentation is an anaerobic process, once the fermentation has started the presence of oxygen will ruin the final product, but I’ve tried it both ways (with tightly fitting lids and with cheesecloth) and haven’t found that to be the case.  Leave it on your counter to ferment for a few days or as long as it takes until the vegetables are all soft.  If the cabbage kind of squeaks in your teeth when you eat it, it needs to ferment more.

There are a couple of things to be aware of in the summer.  The first is that because of the heat, the liquid will evaporate more quickly from the jar, so if you don’t use a tightly fitting lid you need to check it daily to be sure that the vegetables are still covered.  The other thing is that things ferment much more rapidly in the heat.  The faster something ferments, the stronger the flavor will be.  Cabbage needs to ferment longer than some vegetables;  I like to let it ferment for 4 – 5 days on the counter, and then transfer it to the fridge to continue the fermenting.  Since it continues fermenting in the fridge, but more slowly, it has a more mellow flavor.  If you ferment it at room temperature in hot weather, the flavor will be stronger.

You don’t have to use a mixture of green and purple cabbage, but I think it looks pretty so that’s why I did it.  It has a nice medium purplish color when it’s done.  This is meant to be eaten as a relish or condiment to your meals; I enjoy it in small amounts but find the flavor gets to be too much if I have a large serving.


10 thoughts on “Curried Carrot Sauerkraut

  1. I have a favor to ask of you, Avivah. I know you don’t generally put pics up on your blog, but I need some help here. Already I’ve tried to make 5 or 6 different types of lacto fermented veggies, following recipes, and each time, they ended up in the trash at some point or another.
    First, there were the stuff that rotted because they werent covered completely by water.
    Then there was the stuff that just started stinking really badly, but thats probably my fault because i didnt really follow any recipe.
    Then there was the stuff that I thought came out good- the pickled ginger carrots and the sauerkraut… but there came a point with each of them that i just tossed the whole thing. The sauerkraut was going on for a month or so, absolutely delicious, tasting like sauerkraut should. Then it started smelling like alcohol and having all sorts of white sediment at the bottom… Wasnt sure if that was what was supposed to happen, but I was scared to eat it, so i threw it out.
    With my carrots, after a little while it also got sedimenty at the bottom, had a really strong lemony smell, and i saw particles of white stuff floating on the top…

    Can you please post pics of what its supposed to look like when its ready, and describe the smell of it, and explain how you know if its gone off or not?

  2. I really can’t be that helpful with the pics and extensive description (I bet you could find someone who’s already done this on uTube or something, though!). I’m wondering if you leave your veggies out to continue fermenting after they reached the point that you thought they were tasty? If so, next time put them in the fridge once you like how they taste. I’ve never paid attention to if there’s white sediment at the bottom – there might have been with some things – though it probably wouldn’t concern me since it’s covered by the acidic juices. I’d be much more concerned about something growing at the top.

    If the sight and smell of it makes you feel sick, then it’s a good bet that it’s gone off. :) I think you might be overfermenting your veggies – if it’s very hot, don’t leave them out more than a couple of days, and then stick them in the fridge.

    Maybe you should start with something very simple, like whole pickling cukes with some pickling spice and salt? That’s familiar enough that you’ll know if it’s good or not – it’s harder to tell with unfamiliar dishes if it tastes the way it’s supposed to or not.

  3. Ok, i’ll try putting it in the fridge once i like how it tastes… I just read sauerkraut takes 6 months to fully age, so didnt think it needed a fridge before then.

  4. Why should you feel stupid? You can’t be expected to know something when you’ve never had experience with it!

    I think in the past it was probably aged during the cold months of the year – I can easily see leaving the kimchi or whatever in my basement for the cooler half of the year with no problem. Also, though people didn’t have refrigeration they had methods like root cellaring or using a cool spring to keep things cool.

  5. Mamamoomoo, I was confused on that point, too, and had some disappointing results, until I understood to put the ferment in the fridge after the 2-3 days or whatever recommended ferment time.

    The ferments continue to ferment in the fridge, but so slowly that it’s fine. My beloved stepmom’s sauerkraut turned out ok after the initial ferment, but much tastier after she left it IN the fridge for 6 months. And it turned amazingly good after a year :)


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