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India On My Plate - The Pickles Of India Explored
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Thanks to the people of the Tigris Valley, especially the ones who travelled to and from India, we have such an amazing pickling scene in India today. It was back in 2030 BC that we learnt the subtle art of pickling, as pickled cucumbers were introduced to India. Today, we pickle almost anything that’s edible, from fruits and vegetables to meat.
Some of the pickles we make in India are like wine. They taste better as they age. While there are other pickles that are better eaten right after they’re made.
There’s also a whole mix of spices that we use in pickling. Popular spices include asafetida, ginger, cumin (saunf), and turmeric. The use of these spices is encouraged as they help in digestion. Certain other spices, such as cinnamon, clove, and ginger are added to the spice mix because of their warming properties.
Like I said, you name something that’s edible and it’s most likely pickled in India.
A discussion on every pickle variety will need more space than even a book can offer. So let’s choose a few popular Indian pickle varieties and explore them more fully.
The Popular Indian Pickle Varieties
Sweet And Sour Lemon Pickle
The sweet and sour lemon pickle is among the most popular pickles in India. The combination of the sweet and sour taste enriches the entire meal.
To make this lemon pickle, you have to cut lemons into halves, sprinkle salt, and pour sugar syrup over these pieces of lemon and leave this mix to marinate for a week.
Red Chillies Pickle
The Indian red chillies pickle is a spicy pickle variety. It’s available commercially and extensively made at home as well.
Slit the red chilies length-wise and stuff them with fenugreek powder and other ingredients. Store this mix in a porcelain jar for a month. On completion of a month, pounce at it!
Raw Mango Pickle
The raw mango pickle is an absolute delight. A very large number of people down south eat this pickle alongside the much-revered curd rice.
The combination of grated raw mango, turmeric powder, and salt is left to marinate for a day. This mix is then combined with soaked chickpea and other ingredients and left alone for 4 days.
Prawn balchao, a Goan pickle variety, is one of the most delectable pickles in India. Balchao is Portuguese for pickle or relish.
To prepare prawn balchao, fresh prawns are ground to a fine paste and mixed with spices in coconut vinegar. It can be used as an accompaniment to your main course meal or a filling in your sandwich. It’s best eaten with plain boiled rice.
Given the limited space, I’ve mentioned only 5 different kinds of pickles. If you want to explore further and taste different pickle varieties, visit http://www.picklemasti.com. Picklemasti is your one-stop shop for buying pickles from authentic pickle makers. Place an order and you’ll receive the pickles at your house.
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