Curry Spiced Pickled Green Beans 3.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Canning Canning Class Jul 23, 2014

This crunchy, snackable pickle is similar to the classic dilly bean, but its spice blend is Indian-inspired. Pour hot brine over fresh green beans and wait a week while they cure into crisp, briny pickles.

Choose exceptionally fresh beans, preferably from a farm stand or farmers market. (Old beans make musty pickles.) If they are straight and long, use two 24-ounce jars instead of three 1-pint jars; a wide-mouth jar is easier to fill even if you use shorter beans. The jars should be tightly packed.

You will need a candy thermometer. You'll need 3 sanitized pint jars with new lids and rings, and a jar lifter or coated tongs; see the NOTES, below.

Serve as a garnish for a dirty martini. Layer in a sandwich. Chop and add to potato salad.

Make Ahead: The pickles need to cure for at least a week, and preferably 2 weeks, before serving. The sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Refrigerate after opening.

3 pint jars

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 3 pint jars

  • 2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups nonchlorinated water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt or sea salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled but not crushed, root end removed
  • One 1/2-inch-thick coin fresh ginger root (unpeeled)
  • About 2 pounds (2 quarts) very fresh green beans, washed; snap off the stem end but not the tail (see headnote)
  • 3 broad strips lemon peel (as little pith as possible)
  • 3 teaspoons cumin seed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seed
  • 3/4 teaspoon whole white peppercorns


Combine the vinegars, water, salt, garlic and ginger in a 3-quart nonreactive (such as ceramic or enameled cast-iron) saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat, cover and steep for no more than 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, pack the beans in the jars well, tucking in as many beans as possible. It is sometimes helpful to alternate tops and tails, allowing more beans fit in the jar.

Add 1 lemon peel strip, 1 teaspoon cumin seed, 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed and 1/4 teaspoon white peppercorns to each jar.

Stir the brine to ensure the salt has dissolved; discard the ginger and garlic. Pour the still-warm brine over the green beans, leaving 1/2 inch of head space. Use a flat plastic knife, a chopstick or a bubbler to gently press around the inside of the jar to dislodge any air bubbles.

Clean the rim of each jar, place the warmed lids and finger tighten the rings (not too tightly). Process in the boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Use the jar lifter to transfer the jars to a clean, folded dish towel to cool for several hours.

Label and date the sealed jars. Let the pickles cure for at least a week (they’re even better after two weeks.) Store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Refrigerate after opening.

NOTE: Water-bath canning safely seals high-acid, low-pH foods in jars. The time for processing in the water bath is calculated based on the size of the jar and the consistency and density of the food. For safety's sake, do not alter the jar size, ingredients, ratios or processing time in any canning recipe. If moved to change any of those factors, simply put the prepared food in the refrigerator and eat within a week.

Fill a large canning kettle or deep stockpot two-thirds full with water. To keep the jars from rattling against the pot, place a rack in the pot. (A cake rack works well; a folded dish towel is equally effective.) Sanitize the jars in a short dishwasher cycle or by boiling them in a canning kettle or pot for 10 minutes. Fill a small saucepan with water and add the rings. Bring to a boil over high heat, slip in the lids and turn off the heat.

Use a jar lifter or tongs to lower the filled, sealed jars into the boiling water bath, keeping them upright. When all of the jars are in place, the water should be 1 to 2 inches above the jar tops. Add water as needed. Bring the water to a low boil before starting the timer for processing.

At the end of processing, turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the water bath until the boiling has stopped. That will reduce siphoning, in which the food burbles up under the lid, breaking the seal. Use the jar lifter or tongs to transfer the jars to a folded towel, keeping them upright. Leave the jars until they have completely cooled, at least 12 hours. Remove the rings and test the seal by lifting each jar by the lid. The lid should hold fast. Label and store in a cool, dry, dark space.

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Recipe Source

From Cathy Barrow, author of "Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving" (Norton, November 2014).

Tested by Cathy Barrow.

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