Torshi, or Tursu, is a collective term for vegetables which have been pickled in the cuisines of various Balkan and Middle Eastern nations. The word is derived from 'torsh', a Persian term which literally means 'sour'. An important and common part of the Persian, Iranian and Middle Eastern food, among other nations, the pickle is prepared using some common pickle ingredients and vegetables according to preferences.
Iranhas over a hundred variations of the food and each recipe uses some unique ingredients.
Origin of Torshi
While there are discrepancies about where the dish originated from, most consider it an Iranian creation and believe that pickles made there later came to be known as Torshi all over the world. Some credit the creation of the dish to Libya and trace its roots back to the nation. Although there are various beliefs with regards to the origin, the preparation method and ingredients used are common everywhere.
Essential Torshi Recipe Ingredients
There are many variants of the dish around the world; where the ingredients tend to differ based upon the variety being prepared. However, the basic pickle ingredients continue to remain the same. The dish can be made with one, two or more vegetables.
Constant pickle ingredients as per the recipe are dried aromatic herbs which have been pickled in salt, various mixtures of different spices and vinegar. Salt or vinegar is used as antibacterial agents.
Torshi Recipe- Preparation
The basic Torshi preparation procedure remains the same: vegetables and herbs are aged in vinegar for a specified amount of time and the pickle is ready to be served and consumed when it gets a tangy taste. There are simple variations based on the Torshi recipe being followed with regards to the type of marinating agents to be used and the time for which the vegetables need to be aged. Different preparation methods result in different styles, flavors and combinations.
Serving and Eating Torshi
Once the pickle is ready, it is served at room temperature with major meals. It is an essential accompaniment to every lunch and dinner meal across Iran.
Types and Variants of Torshi Recipe
Methods of preparation and vegetables used differentiate one variety of the food from another. While Liteh uses eggplant as the main vegetable, in addition to some herbs, Tsarska Turshiya makes use of cauliflower, red peppers, carrots and celery. Selska Turshiya is another popular variant and the recipe used calls for use of celery, tomatoes (gree), peppers (green), cauliflower, cabbage and carrots..
No marinade is used for Liteh variety of Torshi and the marinades for Tsarska and Tsarska are made with salt, sugar and vinegar and water, salt and vinegar, respectively.