Top and tail the beetroot, then peel. Shred finely, using either a mandolin or a sharp knife. Set aside in a large bowl, and sprinkle liberally with salt.
Trim the cauliflower. Chop the florets into half-centimeter dice. The stalks can be diced as well, or shredded into a julienne.
Top and tail the carrot, then peel. Coarsely grate the carrot. Add to the beetroot and toss. Set aside for at least 15 minutes to allow for wilting.
Zest and juice the lemons. Set aside.
Mix in with the vegetables.
Toast the whole spices in a dry pan until fragrant. Coarsely crush the whole spices in a mortar and pestle, mix with the turmeric. Combine the lemon juice, zest, spices and oil, and set aside until needed.
Squeeze the vegetables a handful at a time to extract any excess juices. Taste the vegetables for saltiness: if it's too salty, rinse under cold water. Drizzle on the dressing, toss, and chill until ready to serve.
«The beetroot will colour everything a beautiful pink. However, if you prefer to preserve each vegetable's colour, the beetroot can be marinated apart. Alternatively, use a golden or candy beetroot.»
Achars are traditional Indian pickles that require several weeks of fermentation. However, when served young, they make lovely salads to temper the heat of a curry, or in place of more common side dishes.