RECIPE: How to make Kriya Gangiah’s delicious kumquat pickle this Heritage Day

Kumquats fruits. Picture: Pexels/Polina Kovaleva

Kumquats fruits. Picture: Pexels/Polina Kovaleva

Published Sep 20, 2022


Television and radio personality Kriya Gangiah is celebrating Heritage Day by sharing one of her favourite recipes, kumquat pickle.

For Gangiah, celebrating her Indian heritage is something that is very important to her. Indian culture has deeply etched roots in both South African history and culture, and she takes every opportunity to celebrate that. She has shared her delicious kumquat pickle recipe as she celebrates everything it means to be Indian South African.

“Growing up, my mum always used to make pickles using recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. I have now started to carry on the tradition, even though I still have to make a phone call or two to her during the process. I feel like pickles are the perfect addition to any dish and help build on the flavour profile and it’s something that really reminds me of my heritage growing up,” she said.

Kriya Gangiah’s kumquat pickle. Picture: Supplied

Here’s how you can make Kriya Gangiah’s kumquat recipe at home.



1.5 litre lukewarm water

15ml bicarbonate of soda (or baking soda)

Pickle achar mix

1.25 kg kumquats

25ml salt

5ml turmeric powder

60ml chilli powder

30ml cumin seeds

500ml sugar

500ml vinegar

125ml corn flour

125ml water

Tempering mix

375 ml sunflower oil

30 ml mustard seeds

8 green chilis slit open

10 cloves garlic half sliced

2 bunches of curry leaves



Place the kumquats in a medium size bowl. Cover with 1.25 litres of lukewarm water and add the bicarbonate soda and mix through until dissolved. Leave the fruit to soak for 20 minutes, rinse under running water, and drain. This should remove any dirt, mould spores, and other residues.

How to prepare the kumquats?

Remove the green stem and slice each kumquat in half. Place all the cut kumquats into a bowl and sprinkle over the salt, turmeric, chilli powder, and cumin seeds. Toss the fruits in the bowl to ensure the spices are distributed evenly, and allow them to sit while you prepare the other items.

Mix the corn flour and half a cup of water together ensuring there are no lumps. In a large pot, bring the vinegar and sugar to a boil then add the corn flour mixture, whisking continuously to ensure it doesn't clump. After 2-3 minutes, when the vinegar mixture has thickened and the corn flour is cooked, add the kumquats and cook for a further 2 minutes on low heat to allow the spices and vinegar mix to infuse before removing the pot from the heat.

Tempering the spices

Heat the oil in a clean pot over medium-high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the mustard seeds, chilis, garlic, and curry leaves then reduce the heat to medium. The mustard seeds will pop and the chilli, garlic, and curry leaves may sputter so take care when tempering the spices. This process should take no more than 2-3 minutes. Make sure you remove the pot from the heat before the garlic turns brown or the spices burn.

Add the hot oil mixture to the kumquat and vinegar or corn flour mixture and mix through with a big spoon until it forms a thick coating. Allow the kumquat pickle achar to cool before decanting into jars.

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