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Homemade Indian Pickles- An Ancient Art Revisited
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Pickles are an integral part of any Indian meal. People like me tend to eat pickle by itself. Then again that’s me.
Coming back to Indian pickles, it really doesn’t matter where you’re from in India; you’ll always find a local pickle variety in your region. Whether you’re a Punjabi looking to spice up that ‘daal chol maani’ or a Tamilian looking to flavor up that curd rice, pickles are a popular option.
Pickle making in India is not simply a commercial affair. It’s an ancient art that is practiced at homes even today. The myriads of pickle varieties available across India come from homes located in different regions. Many of these pickle varieties come from an earnest attempt made by family members who wish to create something new.
Let’s take at deeper look at this ancient art of pickle making.
How Did Pickle Making Start?
The origin of pickle making lies in the need for preserving foods. Back in the day, people didn’t have refrigerators to preserve foods. They had to search for a means of preservation. They soon discovered that the art of keeping foods fresh for long lay in drying the food in sun and curing it with sugar or salt.
At the time, cucumbers found in the Himalayan mountains of India were being taken to Mesopotamia. There, these cucumbers were preserved in brine, which is nothing but water saturated with salt. That was the origin of the pickled cucumber.
The Art And Science Of Pickling
Pickling works on a very simple principle called anaerobic fermentation. The process involves taking dried vegetables or fruits, curing them with salt, and leaving them in airtight jars out in the sun. On the surface of these vegetables or fruits are salt tolerant bacteria. The bacteria start eating up the sucrose that’s present in vegetables and fruits. This leads to the formation of by-products such as lactic acid, acetic acid, and carbon dioxide.
The resulting acid acts as a natural preservative and prevents the bacteria responsible for causing an unpleasant, stale smell. On receiving direct sunlight or warmth, the bacteria begin the fermentation process, which takes 15 days to a month to complete.
For the pickle to last for years, one needs to exercise caution. Moisture, for instance, is a strict no-no! Moulds can form on the surface if the moisture isn’t kept away. This is why most Indian pickles are made during the dry summer months.
Variety In Indian Homemade Pickles
Each region in India boasts of its own delicious variety of pickle. The souring agent is typically the distinguishing element. In Goa, they use vinegar. Tamarind is used in the south and amchur is popular in the north. These agents are also responsible for the subtle variations in regional styles.
Want to buy some Indian pickles right now? Try http://www.picklemasti.com! We host a variety of Indian pickles on our online marketplace. Buy pickles directly from India’s favorite traditional pickle makers right from the comfort of your home.
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