Piccallili – around 84p a jar

Oct 9, 2013 | 13 comments


Piccallili – around 84p a jar


I made some Piccallili this week. I made some last year and found that the men in particular amongst my aquaintance liked it, and it was received with pleasure as a hostess gift too. So as it is coming up to that time of year when we like to exchange gifts, I thought it might come in handy. It takes 6 weeks to mature, so plenty of time to make some for Christmas. If you like to make hampers, it would make a lovely addition, or you can shooze up a jar with cellophane wrapping and some curled ribbon. Almost anything looks attractive wrapped up that way. I have made biscuits as presents for friends and they look much more special with a bit of ribbon waving about

Having now costed up the recipe, I was disappointed that it worked out about the same price as a jar bought from the supermarket. Having said that, it tastes a great deal nicer. The cost is in the vegetables and the vinegar, wonder if bulk bought white vinegar would work?


It is another Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall recipe and makes 7 jam jar sized jars.

This is the ingredient list from Hugh’s recipe

  • 2kg washed, peeled vegetables – select 5 or 6 from the following: cauliflower or romanesco cauliflower, radish, green beans, cucumbers, courgettes, green or yellow tomatoes, tomatilloes, carrots, small silver-skinned onions or shallots, peppers, nasturtium seed pods,  say £2 at most
  • 100g fine sea salt, I used ordinary salt and it was fine, 4p
  • 60g cornflour, £1.50/500g, 30p
  • 20g ground turmeric, TRS 100g/50p, 10p
  • 20g English mustard powder, 25p/200g, 2p
  • 20g ground ginger, Natco £1.69/400g, 8p
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds, Asda 86p/70g, 3p?
  • 2 tsp crushed cumin seeds Rajah 78p/100g, 3p?
  • 2 tsp crushed coriander seeds, Rajah, 76p/100g, 3p?
  • 1.2 litres cider vinegar, Sainsbury £1.15/500ml,  £2.76
  • 300g granulated sugar, 88p/kg, 26p
  • 100g honey, Asda SP £1.24/454g, 27p

PiccalilliI used some ancient radishes mouldering in the veg drawer, the very last of the runner beans, some cauliflower, a large courgette,  a yellow pepper and some carrots. Obviously, the more ingredients you can put in from the garden, the cheaper it will be.

I cut all the vegetables up into small pieces and mixed them with the salt, covered them with cling film and left them overnight.  Then I drained them, rinsed them and drained them again.

PiccalliliThen I mixed all the spices with the cornflour and mixed with a little of the vinegar to make a smooth paste. Put the rest of the vinegar with the sugar and honey in a pan and brought to the boil. Then poured a little of the hot vinegar onto the spices, mixed it all well, and poured the lot back into the vinegar pan and simmered gently for  a few minutes to cook the cornflour.

While that was happening, I thoroughly washed and dried some jam jars and cut up some cereal packet inners to protect the lids. The vinegar would make the inside of the lid go all rusty if the mixture touches it directly.

When the sauce was ready, I mixed it into the prepared vegetables and gave it all a good old stir. Then spooned it into the jars, topped each one with a piece of the waxed paper and popped a screw cap lid on straightaway.

I used some old cider vinegar, the last from a bottle of sherry vinegar and had to buy another bottle of cider vinegar to top it up with. I used honey because I had some, but I’m not sure how much it contributes to the taste. I used a grainy mustard because I don’t like English mustard and didn’t want to buy some just for this. I also used the spices ground because that it was I had.

The original recipe works out at 84p a jar, but you could cut that down by using home grown vegetables, smartprice, bargain bin or market ones, and replace the honey with sugar.

If you don’t have the particular spices that Hugh uses, I would be inclined to try it with a  mild curry powder and mustard

Faggots & Gravy



  1. Lesley

    Oh yes – it looks very similar doesn’t it. I tried some of mine yesterday in a ham sandwich, it was delish.
    That recipe says you only have to leave it to mature for two weeks, I always thought it was four weeks

  2. Lesley

    That would be great, thank you 🙂

  3. Phryne

    Will get back onto it next week – only mobile access at the mo. Thanks for following.

  4. Cumbrian

    Sorry I can’t post it, on holiday with a lap-top and it’s in my desk pc at home, I’ll try and post it later.
    Never used anything but white vinegar, did use brown once but it came out a horrible muddy colour.

  5. Lesley

    Cumbrian, interesting! I googled Liverpool Piccalilli, but didn’t find it.
    Was interested to see you use white vinegar, as the cost is almost all in the veg and the vinegar. Have you done any with cider vinegar, and if you did, did you notice much difference using white vinegar?
    Mine incidentally IS quite a bright yellow, but it does have 20g of turmeric in, so it would come from that

  6. Cumbrian

    I make piccalilli, a recipe from the web called Liverpool piccalilli, a very simple basic but can be tweaked.
    Never seems to get the bright yellow colour of the supermarket variety, but it’s cheap using last-minute yellow sticker bargains and standard white vinegar.

  7. Lesley

    Have followed 🙂 look forward to reading!

  8. Phryne

    Yum – haven’t had piccalli for years. Must try this one. Please come see me at my new blog – frugalphryne.wordpress.com – you wouldn’t want me to be a billy no-mates now would you 🙂

  9. Lesley

    No, true, smartprice in a hamper would make me feel a bit of a cheapskate, and not in any good way. Normally I can’t wait to share news of a bargain, but not in that context
    It is really a very nice product, and husbands of friends really like it

  10. sian

    That was what i was going for 🙂

    I am being serious tho like for like yours is still a bargain, and if you were making a hamper your not going to stick Salisbury own in it now are you?

  11. Lesley

    Ooh, great! That makes me feel MUCH better 🙂

  12. sian

    HI Lesley,

    I was eyeing up some piccalilli in the butchers the other day now this is a highend butchers and it was homemade piccalilli, but it was £3 a jar and they looked smaller than your jars. You can’t really cost it with supermarket brands as they are more processed and have more additives and less veg so it’s not the same at all, you need to price like for like and compared to shop bought “homemade” that you get in butchers and farm shops it’s a bargain.

    And it’s a gift made with love and your own time..i wish i had some now!


  1. Make It Christmas! | My Make Do and Mend Year - […] for. Shoosh it up by wrapping in cellophane and ribbon in masculine colours. Recipe for Picallili is here from…

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