Steeping vegetables in the pickling mixture will soften them a little making them easier to eat and digest, and giving them a more mellow flavour, but I also like this crunchy and sharp tasting and have been known to eat it as soon as it is mixed.
2 Tbsp vegetable oil 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced 1 tsp peeled and thinly sliced ginger ¼ tsp ground cumin seeds ¼ tsp chilli powder 1 tsp ground coriander seeds ¼ cup caster sugar ½ cup white vinegar 4-5 cups thinly sliced vegetables: peppers (bell peppers/capsicums), mild long red chillies, cucumber, zucchini (courgettes), carrots, fennel, red onion, radish, for example ½ cup chopped coriander (cilantro)
1 Put oil and garlic in a small pan and cook gently until garlic is a pale golden colour. Quickly stir in ginger and spices and cook 1 minute more. Turn off heat and add sugar and vinegar. Stir until sugar dissolves then tip mixture into a bowl and add prepared vegetables.