We all have grown up eating delicious and authentic Indian pickles made by our grandmothers and mothers. Pickles are the spice of life. No meal is complete without them. In most Indian households, it is a common sight to find big glass jars filled with freshly made pickles sitting on a sunny window still. It is a method of developing the flavours and letting them mature.
Traditionally, pickles were made at home. But, slowly this practice is fading away as we find varieties of pickles readily available in the market today. Having said that, most of these pickles fail to match up to the rustic flavours of home-made ones.
The process of making Indian pickles is a bit tedious as it involves several steps before the tasty condiment is ready. First the ingredients are sun dried then they are soaked in different oils & spices and finally they are allowed to rest for a few days to develop the flavours.
But, like they say all good things come to those who wait, the result is extremely rewarding!
So, here is the list of 10 different Indian pickles which adds more charisma to Indian Cuisine:
1. Mango Pickle popularly called as Aam ka Achaar
Pickle made from the raw mangoes is totally worth the wait for the mango season. Its lip smacking and tongue tapping taste makes it the most common pickle of India. They get empty first and are never out of flavour. The best mango pickle is when pieces of hard, raw mangoes are marinated with salt and turmeric powder, let to settle for a day or two. The recipe of preparing mango pickle can vary from mustard oil, mustard seed, peanut oil, sea salt, hing, lime juice, chilly, fennel seeds etc.
There are varieties of methods in India and other countries for preparing the pickle from raw mangoes or kerries. The methods which give it a lasting finish include: sun-cooked, par-boiled, or hot oil cooking method. Every Indian state has its own version of mango pickle.
2. Carrot Pickle
The next on the list is my all time favourite: carrot pickle. This is the perfect accompaniment with winter meals. Freshly seasoned red carrots are used to make this delicious pickle. Generally, pickles are synonymous to spiciness however since carrots are usually sweet, this is not a very spicy pickle barring the Andhra style. Yes, the state of Andhra Pradesh loves spicy food and pickles are no exception. Carrot pickle in andhra style is hot and slightly tangy. So, you better keep away the idea of gajar ka halwa’s sweetness while munching on gajar ka achar!
3. Onion Pickle
Onions pickled with a solution of vinegar and salt coupled with spicy red chilli is a treat to the taste buds. It is made on a daily basis in many households. Not only does it go good with the main dish, but it is also used as salad. Onion pickle can also be used as a garnish on many Indian curries and daals.
4. Lime Pickle
Also called as nimboo ka aachar, it is wrongly cited as the thick skinned or the odorous pickle. Lime pickle could be sour, sweet, dry, wet, raw or ripe. Most of the time lime is pickled with green chillies, ginger with salt. Lime pickle adds a unique taste to every Indian dish.
5. Mirchi Ka Aachaar
The next most commonly used among Indian Pickles is the chilly pickle or mirchi ka aachaar. It has its origin from Rajasthan. Mirchi ka aachar can be made with both red and green chillies. They can be made dry or with stuffing of different spices. Combined with the green vegetables, pickles can also be made juicy.
Red chilly pickle is best enjoyed when it’s steeped in oil and lime-juice enriched brine. Green chili pickles are a feast to the ones who love spicy food items. They are mostly had along with plain rice or usually with plain blend parathas.
6. Beetroot Pickle
Not very famous, this Indian pickle can be a great side dish to your meal. This enhances your blood and purifies it. It has a wonderful colour and one cannot miss on eating this one. Beetroot pickle is very famous in Kerala and it goes well with spicy biryani and raita. The beetroot is sun dried and pickled with vinegar which gives it a nice flavour titillating the taste buds.
7. Amla Pickle
Mentioning this pickle a little late, but nevertheless is the taste! The mixed sweetness and salty taste are definitely going to make you want to eat more of it. Amla pickle has many health benefits for people with diabetes, cholesterol and cancer, as it is very rich in Vitamin C. It is made with sesame seeds, fenugreek seeds and yellow mustard which imparts a special taste to the pickle. Amla Pickle is a true tongue-tickler with a lingering flavour and goes well with rice and daal.
8. Cabbage Pickle
The idea of making Indian pickles using cabbage may seem very strange to most of us. Not most of us like cabbage in the salad but a pickled cabbage is worth thinking twice about. Although one cannot really taste cabbage in a cabbage pickle, this one really goes well with plain dosa, idli, Rava dosa and much more.
9. Bitter Gourd Pickle
As much as most of us don’t prefer eating this vegetable, same is the state of affairs with the pickled version of bitter gourd. But its a super hit choice with grandmas! It is a good thing to have for people who are suffering from diabetes. When its freshly made, the bitter taste of the bitter gourd is dominant in the pickle but eventually the bitter taste mellows down and sourness from the vinegar takes over.
10. Garlic Pickle
This Indian pickle is a sure taste enhancer for daily meals. The taste of chilli garlic pickle recipe varies across each state based on the preference of sweetness or spiciness. Scientifically talking, garlic has good medicinal properties because of a compound called allicin present in them. In the traditional version, garlic cloves are soaked in lemon juice and left in the sun to soften up. Once the cloves become permeable, they are marinated with ample amount of oil, salt, vinegar and spices that act as natural preservatives.
There are many varieties of Indian pickles and everybody prefers a different taste and version of it. So, go pick up your favourite Indian Pickle and make your meal a yummy treat.
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