Picklicious treat

Picklicious treat

From spicy to sweet, soft and crispy, Indian pickles are the perfect partner for a well-made meal and provide that much needed flavour to a not-so-perfect one either.

The carrot pickle has a naturally sweet taste.

Once the preserve of the household, today pickles are made being commercially and are available in several varieties, catering to every possible taste. They are are exotic in taste and usually eaten in small amounts to add flavour or to accent a meal. Metrolife ventures into the world of pickles and discovers how Indian markets are coming up with more and more kinds of pickles.

“We sell each and every kind of pickle that customers want. My shop is usually flooded with its demand. Its a necessity in the food world. From a housewife to a chef, everybody knows its importance. People crave these varieties so much that we have to sometimes pack cartons and send them to their address,” says Rajni Lal, a pickle shop owner in Indirapuram.

Apart from the popular ones made at home - like the mango, lime, ginger, chilli and carrot, turnip and cauliflower pickles, each region has its own variation of these and more. For example, Chunda Chuno is a hot&sour sweet mango pickle from Gujarat; Velluthully achar made of garlic and chillis comes from Kerala and Tetuler achar (a pickle made from made from tamarind/imli) and Kul achar (ber) from Bengal. These delicious pickles takes time and effort to make but results are worth it!

Traditionally, a pickle is kept out in the sun for 20-30 days to ‘cook’. Each day the jar is shaken but not stirred, covered with a muslin cloth and placed in a sunny spot, then brought indoors at dusk.

The more exotic variety involves rose petals, yam, gooseberries and even meat of different kinds. Fresh prawn pickle is one of the most common pickles that the non-vegetarians relish. Goans are said to be experts at pickling different types of meat and fish.

In South India, pickles are usually spicy, hot, sour and salty while states like Gujarat pickles are well-known for their sweet pickles which are also easy to make.
The authentic lemon pickle is a spicy tangy concoction usually served with curd rice in South India. If you love eating pickles than they can be enjoyed with dosa, chapati or plain rice. Lime pickle is particularly good because it is tangy and hot at the same time and said to be good for digestion. It also tastes good with dal, rasam and sambhar.
 Amla pickles are most sought after seasonal pickles all over India. Made with amla (Indian gooseberry), oil and Indian spices, it has a distinct flavour.

“The market is flooded with various kinds of pickles because people nowadays usually don’t have time to prepare them at home, given their hectic lifestyles,” says Rajni.

Pickles made of vegetables and fruits are high in fibre and good for keeping your digestive system healthy. Some researchers claim that such kind of high fibre pickles help in fighting cancer. Also spice used to make pickles are good in terms of regulation of bacterial growth and keeping the digestive system in good shape.

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