Around these parts, torshi (or turshi, tursu, etc) is most often seen as that little dish of tiny green olives and fuschia-colored turnips that precedes the meal in certain Middle Eastern restaurants. But torshi is really just the umbrella term for an infinite variety of mixed pickled vegetables. It’s the giardiniera of the Levant.

There are almost as many different formulas for torshi as there are vegetables to make it with, and I came across a particularly powerful and extraordinary version at the newish Attra Middle Eastern Grocery. It’s a chunky mustard-colored medley of rough-cut vegetables—chile peppers, garlic, baby corn, turnips, two different kinds of cucumber, and carrots—in a thick, dill-flecked, almost currylike sauce redolent of cumin, turmeric, fenugreek, and the unmistakable pungency of an Indian-style mango pickle. Trot up a flight of stairs after eating a bite and they’ll know you’re coming on the next six floors.