I first read about Msyer (Libyan quick pickles) on the Libyan Food blog. They were similar to many quick pickles that I make and I found it interesting that they also use lemon as part of their pickling acid. But the idea of using coriander, cumin and chopped parsley in a quick pickle was something entirely new to me.

I stuck close to the ingredients listed but changed the technique a fair bit. I’m a big fan of letting quick pickles sit in salt for a few hours to pull initial moisture out of them which adds to their texture and allows them to absorb the acid better. We also added a touch of honey for sweetness ], increased the amount of vinegar and cut it with water to cover the veggies with brine for quicker absorption. Although you can eat them after 6-12 hours they were even better a week later.

These pickles can be eaten with anything – Libyan Food recommends eating them with anything steamed and notes that they are used as an accompaniment to many dishes.They are full of flavor so subtler dishes  (such as white fish) may disappear when eating them. You may also want to back of the chilies but I love the hot stuff..


Author: Joel MacCharles


  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped into discs
  • 2 persian cucumbers, chopped into discs
  • 3 green chillies (to taste), chopped into discs
  • 1 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
  • 2 Tbsp parsley stems, chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds (I love their crunch)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ⅓ cup white vinegar
  • Juice of 2 lemons plus their zest, chopped fine
  • ½ cup water


  1. Combine the carrot, cucumbers, chillies, garlic, parsley, coriander, cumin and salt in a bowl and cover. Place on counter for 3 hours *you will notice that the salt will pull liquid from the vegetables).
  2. In a fine strainer (one that will prevent the coriander from escaping) rinse the vegetables until they don’t taste overly salted (you can soak them for an hour if needed after rinsing).
  3. Bring cumin, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest and water to a boil over high heat.
  4. Carefully pour boiling liquid over veggies in a heat proof jar (such as a mason jar) and allow to cool. Place in fridge for a minimum of 6 hours and taste will improve over next 4-7 days. Eat within 1 month.

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