Why do People like Piccalilli in the United Kingdom? Recipe

4 minutes, 18 seconds Read


Piccalilli is a beloved condiment in the United Kingdom that has gained popularity for its tangy, sweet, and spicy flavors. This article explores the reasons why people in the UK are fond of piccalilli and provides a delicious homemade recipe for you to enjoy.

Table of Contents

  1. The Origins of Piccalilli
  2. The Tangy and Spicy Flavor
  3. Versatility in Culinary Applications
  4. A Nostalgic Taste of Tradition
  5. A Burst of Colors and Textures
  6. The Perfect Accompaniment
  7. Homemade Piccalilli Recipe
  8. Conclusion
  9. FAQs

1. The Origins of Piccalilli

Piccalilli has its roots in British culinary history. It is believed to have been inspired by Indian pickles brought to the UK during the colonial era. Over time, it has evolved into a uniquely British condiment, loved by people across the country.

2. The Tangy and Spicy Flavor

One of the primary reasons why people in the United Kingdom enjoy piccalilli is its distinctive tangy and spicy flavor. The combination of mustard, turmeric, vinegar, and other spices creates a taste that is both refreshing and zesty, adding a burst of flavor to any dish it accompanies.

3. Versatility in Culinary Applications

Piccalilli is incredibly versatile and can be used in various culinary applications. It can be served alongside traditional British dishes such as roast meats, cold cuts, or cheese platters. Additionally, it works well as a relish for sandwiches, burgers, and even as a dip for snacks. Its versatility makes it a favorite among food enthusiasts.

4. A Nostalgic Taste of Tradition

For many people in the United Kingdom, piccalilli holds sentimental value and brings back fond memories. It is often associated with homemade preserves and family recipes that have been passed down through generations. The nostalgic connection to piccalilli adds to its appeal and makes it a comfort food for many.

5. A Burst of Colors and Textures

Piccalilli is known for its vibrant colors and contrasting textures. The mixture of diced vegetables, such as cauliflower, cucumber, and bell peppers, creates a visually appealing condiment that is both crunchy and smooth. The bright yellow hue from the turmeric adds to its aesthetic appeal and makes it visually enticing.

6. The Perfect Accompaniment

Piccalilli complements a wide range of dishes and adds a delightful contrast to their flavors. Whether it’s a traditional Sunday roast, a cheese platter, or a simple sandwich, piccalilli enhances the taste profile and provides a tangy and spicy kick. Its ability to elevate various dishes makes it a sought-after condiment.

7. Homemade Piccalilli Recipe

Now that you know why piccalilli is cherished in the United Kingdom, here’s a simple recipe to make your own homemade piccalilli:


  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 large cucumber, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • white sugar
  • cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the cauliflower florets for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a separate pot, combine the cucumber, bell peppers, and onions. Add water and a pinch of salt. Boil for 5 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, mix the sugar, cider vinegar, mustard seeds, turmeric, cornstarch, and a pinch of salt. Stir until the mixture thickens and forms a smooth consistency.
  4. Add the blanched cauliflower and the boiled vegetables to the saucepan. Stir well to coat the vegetables evenly with the sauce.
  5. Simmer the mixture for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove from heat and let the piccalilli cool to room temperature.
  7. Transfer the piccalilli to sterilized jars and seal them tightly. Store in a cool, dark place for at least a week before consuming to allow the flavors to develop fully.

Now you can enjoy your homemade piccalilli with your favorite dishes!


Piccalilli has become a beloved condiment in the United Kingdom due to its tangy and spicy flavor, versatility in culinary applications, nostalgic connections, vibrant colors, and the ability to enhance the taste of various dishes. Whether you’re enjoying a traditional British meal or adding a zesty kick to your favorite sandwich, piccalilli is sure to bring a burst of flavor to your palate.


1. Can I adjust the spice level in piccalilli?

Yes, you can adjust the spice level in piccalilli by adding more or less mustard seeds and ground turmeric according to your taste preferences.

2. How long does homemade piccalilli last?

When stored properly in sterilized jars, homemade piccalilli can last for several months. However, it is best consumed within 6-8 weeks for optimal flavor.

3. Can I substitute any vegetables in the piccalilli recipe?

Absolutely! While the traditional recipe calls for cauliflower, cucumber, and bell peppers, you can experiment with other vegetables such as carrots, green beans, or baby corn to customize the flavors according to your liking.

4. Is piccalilli suitable for vegetarians and vegans?

Yes, piccalilli is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans as it does not contain any animal products.

5. Can I use piccalilli as a marinade?

While piccalilli is primarily used as a condiment or relish, you can experiment with using it as a marinade for grilled or roasted meats to infuse them with its tangy flavors. However, be mindful of the sugar content if you’re using it as a marinade

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