What is piccalilli?
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What is piccalilli?

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Piccalilli is one of those magical condiments that, once experienced, can so easily establish themselves as an indispensable must-have accompaniment to a great many dishes.

Piccalilli’s mingling of subtle flavours can add unique notes to everything, from hot sausages, burgers or bacon, to cheese sandwiches, salads and stews. And as it’s also quick and easy to make yourself, it could soon become a staple at your table.

What is piccalilli?

Piccalilli, or mustard pickle, is a British take on South Asian pickles. References from the 18th century describe Piccalilli as Paco-Lilla or India Pickle, a tangy and slightly spicy relish typically made from a combination of chopped and pickled vegetables and spices.

The exact ingredients can vary, but vegetables most usually found in piccalilli include cauliflower, onions, shallot, cucumbers, bell peppers, runner beans, carrot, courgettes and gherkins.

Seasoned with flour. The mixture is then pickled in a brine of vinegar, sugar, ginger, garlic, coriander, mustard powder and turmeric, giving it a unique and zesty flavour.

What is piccalilli used for?

This deliciously versatile condiment can be enjoyed in so many ways. Apparently, it was originally sold in major British supermarkets to accompany foods such as sausages, bacon, eggs, toast, cheese, and tomatoes, and eaten as a relish with cold meats or a ploughman’s lunch.

Other popular ways to savour this delightful relish is as a topping for sandwiches and burgers, mixed into potato or pasta salads for an extra burst of flavour, stirred into soups or stews to add a tangy kick. Or you could use it as a dipping sauce for crispy snacks like samosas or spring rolls.

How to make piccalilli

This is a really quick and easy way to make your own piccalilli, and it will keep for up to three months.


500g cauliflower, cut into small florets

200g courgette, cut into small chunks

100g green beans or French beans, trimmed and cut into small pieces

200g shallots, peeled and cut into small chunks or pearl onions, peeled and left whole or halved

600ml malt vinegar

3 tbsp English mustard powder

1 tbsp coriander seeds

2 tbsp black or yellow mustard seeds

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp turmeric

4 tbsp plain flour

200g caster sugar

2 bay leaves


  1. Put all the veg together in a bowl, toss with 2 tbsp sea salt, and leave, covered at room temperature, for 4 hrs. Drain the veg and wash well under cold water. Drain well.
  2. Put 100ml of the vinegar in a bowl with the mustard powder, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, cumin, turmeric and flour. Mix well to make a paste.
  3. Heat the remaining 500ml vinegar, sugar, bay leaves and a pinch of salt until the sugar dissolves, then pour in the mustard vinegar mix, simmering and stirring for 5 mins until the mixture thickens. Fold in the drained veg, heat for 1 min taking the edge off the veg, but still retaining a bite, then remove from the heat, and seal into three 500ml warm sterilised jars. 

Store the jars in a cool dark place for six weeks or up to three months before opening. Once open, keep in the fridge and use within four weeks.

Don’t have time to make your own? Our range of delicious piccalillis are a must-have for any kitchen cupboard (and taste just as good as homemade).

Cottage Delight’s Piccalilli

Not content to tempt you one style of our very own piccalilli, we doubled up and created two different takes on this cheeky tongue-tickling pickle. Both are made using carefully selected vegetables, picked when they are at their best, and include cauliflower, onions, green beans, and red peppers.

Cottage Delight’s Chunky Chilli-illi Pickle

Our culinary masterpiece combines chunky garden vegetables, fiery hot chillies and the bold flavour of Dijon mustard. This pickle is a tantalising blend of intense flavours and satisfying crunch that will ignite your taste buds with delight. 

We cook chunky garden vegetables, enrobed in a Dijon mustard and hot chillies for a crunchy pickle with intense flavour.

Our Chunky Chilli-lilli Chilli Pickle is a fresh twist on a classic pickle, perfect with cold meats, pork pies, and cheeses. Why not try Chilli-lilli with a Ploughman’s lunch, or serve with a juicy gammon steak or a simple grilled cheese sandwich.

Cottage Delight’s Classic Piccalilli Pickle

Our exquisite Classic Piccalilli Pickle is a true testament to the timeless tradition of preserving garden vegetables at their peak. We’ve meticulously crafted this pickle by combining chunky garden vegetables and the distinct flavour of Dijon mustard, resulting in a truly flavourful and crunchy delight. 

We create this classic Piccalilli Pickle by combining chunky garden vegetables and Dijon mustard for a flavourful and crunchy product.

Cottage Delight’s Piccalilli is a classic pickle, perfect with cold meats, pork pies, and cheeses. Why not try Piccalilli with a Ploughman’s lunch, or serve with a juicy gammon steak or a simple corned beef sandwich.

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