Fermented foods have a long history and are a part of many cultures from thousands of years. They not only have numerous health benefits but are also a good way of storing vegetables. Pickles are the best example of fermented foods. In India, we make pickles with lemon, raw mango and different vegetables. My grandmother would make a big batch of a pickle during summer which we would use over the entire year. Not just pickles, idli and dosa are great fermented foods that are eaten regularly at my home.
Sauerkraut is basically fermented cabbage that originated in Germany. Sauerkraut is finely cut raw cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria. It has a long shelf life and a distinctive sour flavour, both of which result from the lactic acid formed when the bacteria ferment the sugars in the cabbage leaves.
It is crunchy, sour pickled cabbage that is very simple to make. All you need is cabbage, whey and salt. But most importantly, time. I make sauerkraut with a mix of purple and white cabbage as the purple cabbage yields a beautiful colour to it. Combine these ingredients together and place in an air-tight container away from light for two to three weeks. Done!
Follow my step by step process to make sauerkraut at home and enjoy this delicious pickled food that has numerous health benefits.
Cabbage – 1 medium (I used ½ white and ½ purple)
Carrot – 2-3 (optional)
Beetroot – 1 (optional)
Rock salt – ¼ cup
Whey – 1 cup
- Remove the core of the cabbage and shred it as thin as possible
Peel the carrots and beetroot. Slice them thinly
- In a
lagebowl, combine the cabbage, carrot and beetroot
- Sprinkle with salt and mix well. Set aside for 5 minutes
- Add whey and combine it well. Squeeze the cabbage with your hands or a masher to extract as much liquid as possible
- Pack the cabbage tightly in air-tight containers making sure the liquid floats on top
- Cover tightly and place in a dark place away from light
- Open the lid of the container once a day for the first two to three days so that it can breathe
- Let it sit for two to three weeks
- Once you get the desired fermentation level, store in refrigerator
- Sauerkraut is ready to be consumed