Persian Pickled Litteh consists of cucumbers that show characteristic color and which are fairly well formed, fresh and firm. Furthermore, they are free from decay and from damage results by dirt, freezing, sunburn or other means. Torshi are the pickled vegetables of the cuisines of many Balkan and Middle East countries. The word turşu is ultimately derived from Persian torsh, which means ‘sour’. In Turkic languages such as Turkish and Azerbaijani it is spelled turşu.
Torshi is common in varieties of Middle Eastern cuisine such as Arab cuisine, Turkish cuisine, and Iranian cuisine. Iran boasts a great variation of hundreds of different types of torshi according to regional customs and different events. In some families, no meal is considered complete without a bowl of torshi on the table. In Bulgarian cuisine, the most popular types are tsarska turshiya (“king’s pickle”) and selska turshiya (“country pickle”). Toursi is a traditional appetizer (meze) to go with arak, rakı, ouzo, tsipouro, and rakia. In some regions the torshi water (turşu suyu) is also drinkable and very popular in Turkey.
Torshi at home
Making torshi at home is still a widespread tradition during the autumn months, even in cities. Torshi is often served in restaurants or it can be bought ready to eat from supermarkets.
Torshi is made with garlic, chili peppers, celery, cauliflower, carrots, beets, shallots, cabbage, aubergines (eggplant) and other vegetables, and dried aromatic herbs pickled in vinegar or brandy, salt, and different spice mixtures, which usually include whole black peppercorns, ginger, etc. Persian style torshi includes more vinegar, while Turkish style turşu includes more salt as an antibacterial agent.
Torshi Liteh is made with eggplants and herbs (parsley, coriander, mint, tarragon, basil). Eggplants are baked in the oven, put in a glass jar with herbs and vinegar, and stored in a cool, dry place for two to three months.
Enjoy your food with Almas Persian pickle litteh