Friday, 18 April 2014

Mrs Morris's Mustard Choko Pickles.

Ever since we have lived here on the coast, nearly 30 years, we have had a Choko vine for most of that time. Some years there are a glut,and some years just a  reasonable amount, but every year, we run out of things to use the choko for. It is also known by two other names around the world, Chayote and Merliton.

The top picture shows the vine in a good year, where it ran every where, the the lower photo is just last week, we have a smaller crop this year due to the extreme heat and dry weather  that we had experienced this last summer and the fact that we were not  here to give it as much water.
I have a mustard pickle recipe that I make each year,  that a lovely   neighbour of my Mum's  up in the country passed on to her.She is long gone now , her name was Mrs Morris( so we now always without fail call this recipe "Mrs Morris's Pickles" It can be made with Green Tomatoes,cauliflower,choko or a mix of all three.(I have used zuichinni as well sometimes).
Firstly I advise you to put on thin "skins" gloves as the chokos have a strange slimy  feel when peeled that dries like a brown second skin on your hands and is difficult to remove. I doubled the recipe when I made this batch. It doubles and triples quite well. I rarely make a single batch.

You will need to have 2 1/2 lbs of Choko, Green Tomato or Cauliflower(I used all choko)
next you add 1 cucumber,Peeled and chopped
Then  you add 1 green capsicum(Bell pepper) Chopped(seeds removed)
And 2 large onions, peeled and chopped.
Put this altogether in a large stainless steel stock pot, cover with water and  add 1/4 cup salt and leave overnight. All the peelings went to the two worm farms.

Next morning, place pot on heat and bring to the boil and boil for10 minutes,. While this is boiling prepare your jars ready and  make a  smooth  paste  up in a bowl of 2 tablespoons of plain flour, 2 teaspoons dry mustard powder,1 teaspoon curry powder,2 teaspoons Turmeric and a pinch of cayenne pepper with about 3-4 tablespoons  of white vinegar.
After the 10 minutes, drain off the liquid, and add 2 cups white sugar and 1/2 pint white vinegar and return to heat and boil for about  3 minutes.

After this, remove and add  yellow paste
Then stir thoroughly to  combine evenly and make sure there are no floury lumps.Place back on heat and boil for about a minute or two to  thicken and cook the flour.
I then used a small plastic jug to pour the piping hot pickles  into jars  as my plastic jar funnel  is just a teeny bit too small for the jars I used this time.
I then wiped the rims of the jars clean with a paper towel soaked in white vinegar, screw on my new lids and place my jars in a double layer with a pizza tray separating the layers into my electric water

bath preserver.I then brought it to the boil and processed the jars at that temperature for 10 minutes, after which I turned it off, removed the lid and let the jars sit in the unit for another 5 minutes.

I then removed them out onto the towel covered bench until they cooled,
I then insisted they line up and pose  for one final photo shoot before labeling and storing away in the pantry.

We use these  pickles a lot, We use it in Sandwiches,plain and toasted with cheese, and on hot and cold meats, beaten into cream cheese as an impromptu dip.and in a tuna casserole that I make pastry and spread the pickles over the pastry then roll it  up and cut  slices through(I then turn these spirals face up on top of the tuna and white sauce and bake.) It Maybe an acquired taste, but one my family loves.My Mum used to make it when we were young and we always loved it.
This may be the last crop we see here as we will have probably moved to the farm full time before next years crop, and it will probably take a while to establish a vine out there(if at all as it is frost sensitive). So I may in future be making the Tomato or cauliflower version of this, which isn't a problem as they are equally as tasty.
So everyone until we meet again,
Cheers to you all,


  1. I love choko pickles! I usually make a batch every year and yes I learnt the hard way when peeling and chopping. I now always wear gloves otherwise I'm picking that stuff off my hands for days! Your pickles look delicious Jane.

  2. Thanks Mel, I think there are a lot of people out there that have never tasted Choko pickles( they just don't know what they are missing.) We probably should just keep the secret.

  3. Hi Jane,
    Thanks for this amazing recipe! The taste is amazing. The end result had a lot of juice but I think that's because I had no idea what a pint was and when I Googled it there were two different sizes. Can you tell me how much in mLs you put in?
    Thanks again.

    1. Hi, A pint is just under 500 mls(about 490). Sometimes I find there is more liquid than other times too, if too much I make up another lot of the thickener and stir in and recook for a few minutes.(have to watch the lumps though,they are a bugger.)We love this pickles, have been eating it for more years than I like to admit.
      I noticed your blog says you are from The Hunter Valley, so am I ,I live in Newcastle until we move to the bush.
      Catch you around and good luck.

  4. Hi, do you know of a healthy substitute for the white sugar? :)

  5. Hi Amy, sorry I didn't reply earlier, just been snowed under totally.
    I am mot sure if you could substitute stevia or somethong like that, i have only ever used the white sugar (maybe raw sugar would be a little better, less refined)...Sorry I am not any help to you..
    Thanks for popping by though

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Hi, in case you get asked again a fabulous sugar replacement is concentrated apple juice syrup. It's normally in the health food section in supermarkets. You need about one fifth of the sugar amount. Also another wonderful tip re pectin for jam setter - chutney/ relish thickener. When the passionfruit season arrived in your neck of the woods keep the shell of the passionfruit (use the pulp as a fresh fruit). Bring a large pot a water to boil - chop the whole shell including the pith into quarters - boil the lot for about 15 mins. Strain and run cold water over the skins. Scoop the pith out of the skins and set aside - then put them in a blender until very smooth - use this immediately or freeze cup-size packets. 1 cup will thicken about 3 cups of jam etc. It's a very easy way to ensure your conserve or chutney thickens every time. My great grannie taught me this and she went to the big kitchen in the sky at 140 yo. I still have her hand-written recipes - of course now scanned and digitised.
      Best wishes

  7. Hi Jane
    As I have just made another batch of your Mrs Morris's choko pickle recipe, as I have done every year since your first put it on your blog, I thought it was time to write and say thanks. Even the younger members of our extended family now view for a jar for to have on cheese and crackers/sandwiches. A great recipe. Thank you. Best wishes Anne