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Mixed Pickles (9370-72).jpg
Mixed pickles
CourseHors d'oeuvre
Region or stateMiddle East, Central Asia, and Balkans
Main ingredientsVegetables, garlic, brine or vinegar

Torshi are the pickled vegetables of many Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines.

Torshi is common in Arab, Turkish, and Iranian cuisine. Iran has hundreds of 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, notably in Turkey, the pickle juice or torshi water (turşu suyu) a popular beverage.

Torshi is often made in homes in the autumn, even in cities. Is is also sold by specialists and in supermarkets, and is served in restaurants.


The word torshi is ultimately derived from Persian torsh 'sour'. The word is found with minor variants in many languages: Persian ترشى torshi; Kurdish ترشى Tirşîn, tirşî, trshin; Turkish and Azerbaijani turşu; Greek τουρσί toursí; Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, Serbian, Macedonian, Bulgarian turšija/туршија/туршия turshiya; Albanian turshi. Other languages translate it as 'pickle': Aramaic ܡܟ̇ܠܠ, Arabic مخلل mukhallal; Hebrew: חמוצים khamutsim.


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.

Tsarska turshiya is made with cauliflower, red peppers, carrots, and celery. The vegetables are mixed with some salt and sugar and left overnight. The next day the juice is mixed with vinegar and boiled for several minutes. The vegetables are put in glass jars and pressed down with cherry twigs and a round river stone, then the jars are filled with the cooled pickle marinade.

Selska turshiya is made with green peppers, green tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, and celery. The vegetables are put in a container, pressed down with some twigs and a stone, and a marinade made of salt, vinegar and water is poured on. The pickles are left to ferment.

See also[edit]

  • Giardiniera – An Italian relish of pickled vegetables in vinegar or oil
  • Jangajji – Type of Korean non-fermented pickled vegetable side dish
  • Asazuke – Japanese pickling method
  • List of pickled foods – List of links to Wikipedia articles on pickled foods

External links[edit]