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Curried Sauerkraut with Golden Raisins

curried kraut in front of 1-gallon ceramic vessel with Aspen glaze

At the June fermentation workshop, Hadar served several different krauts for us to sample, and I was amazed at the variety of flavors. Even better, we each got to take home one of her gorgeous one-gallon crocks. People kept saying – “Which one do you want?” But choosing was like picking a puppy out of an impossibly cute litter, every single one was lovely in its own way. Everyone else picked a crock and I took the one that was left for me. Perfect solution.

Back at home, while our class kraut was fermenting in my new crock, I spent the next few weeks reading about fermentation. Kathryn Lukas’s and Shane Peterson’s excellent book The Farmhouse Culture Guide to Fermenting quickly became a favorite resource and is the inspiration for the curried kraut recipe below, which I have modified slightly. (Note that Lukas and Peterson provide precise measurements for ingredients – in grams. For some, this is welcome and promises consistency from one ferment [and one fermentista] to the next. If weighing ingredients sounds appealing to you or if you are new to fermenting or if you want to see all their wonderful recipes, buy their book, you won’t regret it.)

This kraut packs a punch with its curry-forward flavor and sour zing. It pairs beautifully with sausage. A friend served it with tofu and rice. It would be good with eggs. Somehow it seemed the exact right kraut for early Fall.

curried kraut in front of 1-gallon ceramic vessel with Aspen glaze

Curried Sauerkraut with Golden Raisins

Kirsten Larson
Prep Time 1 hour


  • 1 1-gallon fermentation crock with water seal
  • 2 weights
  • 1 large mixing bowl


  • 5 lbs green cabbage, sliced in ribbons of desired thickness My preference is about .25 inches.
  • 3 tbsp salt
  • 1.5 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 whole yellow onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tbsp curry powder I had a little jar of Spice Islands brand curry powder on hand and used almost the entire 49 g jar – just shy of a half cup; the result was delicious and the curry flavor was powerful. Try adding a little at a time to suit your palate.


  • Using fully sanitized fermentation equipment, start by chopping your cabbage into ribbons of desired thickness. As you chop, toss the cabbage into your bowl by the handful. (I like to sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons of salt over each head of chopped cabbage after I add it to the bowl because this helps incorporate the salt when you move to the next step.)
  • Once you have all the cabbage in your bowl, use your hands to start incorporating the salt into the leaves by picking up handfuls of cabbage and squeezing them until a brine forms. (If you are new to fermenting and want more details about this step, see further instructions below.*) Taste the mixture as you go along to make sure there is a pleasing saltiness without the salt being overwhelming.
  • Add the remaining ingredients (except curry powder) into the bowl and mix them throughout the cabbage.
  • Next, add the curry powder a tablespoon at a time and assess whether you like the flavor. (I like to use my hands to mix the ingredients, but if you don’t want curry powder on your hands, resort to a wooden spoon or salad servers to get an even mix.)
  • Once you have all the ingredients incorporated and you have a flavor you are pleased with, start adding the kraut to your crock, using the tamper to evenly distribute the kraut. (If you are new to fermenting and want further instructions on this step, see below.**) You should have about 4 inches of space above your kraut once you add the weights. Don’t forget to seal the crock with water, and remember to check the water level every few days; refill the seal, as needed. (If you made a little bit too much kraut to fit into the crock, save it – it tastes great unfermented as a side for lunch or dinner.)
  • I fermented my kraut for two weeks (temperature about 72 degrees in the house). The result was delicious. If the kraut is not sour enough for you at this point, replace the plates, reseal the crock and let it sit another week.  Enjoy.


*If you are new to fermenting, the goal is to create a brine that helps protect the kraut while it is fermenting. The salt, via osmosis, pulls the water out of the cabbage leaves as you are squeezing them (and this ultimately ensures your kraut is crunchy rather than limp or soft). For the newbie, the process may feel a bit strange. At first, the cabbage feels mostly dry and squeezing handfuls of leaves doesn’t seem to be doing much, until you’ve done this over and over again through the entire bowl of cabbage multiple times. Keep going until the cabbage takes on a translucent quality and the leaves become more and more slippery, your sign that the water from the leaves is being extracted. When you reach the point where brine is forming in the bottom of your bowl and dripping from the cabbage leaves as you squeeze them (akin to squeezing water from a sponge), you are done. (The sound the cabbage makes as you reach this point also changes, you will notice this for yourself.)
What about the salt? If you’ve been squeezing the cabbage for a few minutes yet are having trouble getting it to release water, add a bit more salt. 
**The trick to properly packing your kraut in the crock is patience and elbow grease. Add a couple of inches of kraut to the bottom of the crock, then tamp that down. (It’s helpful if the crock is on a table that is low enough that you can easily see into it and you can get some leverage as you push down on the tamper. My kitchen table works well for this.) Then add another layer of cabbage and tamp that down. Brine should be coming up through the kraut as you tamp it. When you have about 4 inches of space left in the top of your crock, insert your weight (brine should be coming up around the weight and possibly fully covering the weight depending on how much squeezing you did). At this point, I take a clean, dry paper towel and wipe dry the inside of the crock above the weight; the idea is to clean this portion of the crock so it is free from brine and any kraut bits. I also wipe out the lip of the crock. Next, move the crock to its “home” – the place where it will live, undisturbed by others in your household, for the next couple of weeks. Then put the lid on the crock and add your water to seal the crock. Make sure to check every few days to ensure that the water has not evaporated; refill as necessary. Enjoy the gurgles as your kraut ferments.