Pickles are one of the most traditional condiments that trace back to the origins of our cuisine. Pickles not only add spice and flavour to any meal but they also work as a digestive.
Lime and mango were once the most popular pickles, but today, the varieties have been extended to vegetables like carrots, garlic and mixed vegetable. Some have taken things to the next level by pickling exotic ingredients like dates and prunes. And who can forget the wide range of non-vegetarian pickles that have originated in Kerala and in coastal regions like Goa, Vishakapatnam and Kolkata? Although prawn and fish pickles are very popular, chicken and lamb pickles have also garnered the interest of meat eaters.
Pickle is always known to be a homemade dish. Pickle recipes vary from one household to the other and the grandmothers in the family are the keepers of this secret. In the past, pickling was considered a family activity. In today’s fast-moving world, however, people often don’t have the time to make elaborate pickles and end up using store-bought versions. Commercial pickles lack in taste, quality and health benefits. Homemade pickles are made using the finest of ingredients and hygienic methods and this is reflected in the taste.
Let’s take a look at the ingredients that go into making a good pickle:
When I learnt pickle-making from my mother, I realised that the process involved a lot of skill. Oil, vinegar, salt and probiotic spices were the key ingredients to be used in our pickle bottles.
Here are a few things that I have learned which are crucial to making a delicious pickle:
(The author is a CEO at Somey’s Kitchen)