Piccalilli Sauce

By the way, here’s a great way of making piccalilli into a sauce. This has been taken from the basic recipe in my first book, Rhodes Around Britain, but I’m giving it to you again just in case you haven’t got that one yet!

The ingredients have been halved and this will still give you at least 1.2 litres (2 pints) of sauce.

It keeps very well in the fridge for up to 1 month and eats well as a salad dressing or mixed with mayonnaise as an alternative prawn or crab cocktail sauce. I also use it as a straight piccalilli sauce to go with smoked fish such as trout, mackerel or eel; and salad; or hot fish or shellfish kebabs.


  • 1 small or ½ large cauliflower, cut into 1 cm (½ in) pieces
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1 cm (½ in) dice
  • 50 g (2 oz) salt
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) white wine vinegar
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) malt vinegar
  • A pinch of chopped dried chilli
  • 175 g (6 oz) caster sugar
  • 25 g (1 oz) English mustard powder
  • 15 g (½ oz) ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • ½ cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into rough 1 cm (½ in) dice


Mix the cauliflower with the onion and sprinkle with the salt, then leave in a sieve or colander to stand for 24 hours.

Boil the two vinegars together with the chilli, then leave to cool and stand for 20 minutes before draining and discarding the chillies. Mix the sugar with the remaining dry ingredients. Pour a quarter of the vinegars on to the dry ingredients and mix. Re-boil the remaining vinegar and pour and whisk on to the sugar mix. Bring back to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.

Mix the salted cauliflower and onions with the cucumber and pour the hot sauce over the vegetables. Leave to cool. Once cool, blitz in a food processor or liquidizer until fine, then push through a sieve to leave you with a smooth, rich piccalilli sauce. Store in airtight jars.