Updated: Jun 3, 2022
"Achar", is an age-old name for "Pickle" in Indian cuisine. In our subcontinent pickles change their savory taste with the change in regions. Spicy pickles with tamarind and a dash of ginger, garlic, and chilies infused with sesame oil are characteristic of Southern India while in North, pickles acquire an assortment of vegetables in mustard oil. The sour and spicy flavor of achar tingles your taste bud.
There is more to this tangy culinary in the Indian kitchen with some exotic and unheard pickled fruits and vegetables. So let's go pickling our taste buds.
Jackfruit, classified as a "superfruit", when pickled with the right accord of flavors and condiments, gives a mouthwatering experience. Jackfruit/Kathal is a seasonal delicacy relished both as a vegetable and as a fruit. The blanched jackfruit pieces are mixed with a proportionate amount of roasted and ground fennel and cumin seeds.
Flavored with all the tangy spices and blended with mustard oil and vinegar/raw mango pieces, the pickle is kept in sun for 3-4 days. The delicious pickle is ready to eat with a load of antioxidants to give you healthy skin and hair.
Potato /Aloo pickle is a delicious South Indian delicacy. People who like potatoes will definitely love this lip-smacking delight. The irresistible Aloo is sliced into cubes and cooked till it becomes soft. These cubed potatoes are tossed into a pan with sesame oil variegated with roasted fenugreek and mustard seeds.
Blending and slow cooking the contents with chilly powder, salt, dry mango powder/amchur, and asafoetida powder gives the pickle its aromatic and peppery flavor. Enjoy this pickle with Rotis and make the meals more enjoyable.
Karivepaku Uragaya or curry leaves pickle, a part of south Indian cuisine, is known for its soothing and calming effects. Since ancient times curry leaves have been known for their medicinal properties from hair care to skincare. This aromatic herb when pickled with Tamarind leaves us nostalgic with its spicy and refreshing taste.
Cleaned and shade dried curry leaves are mingled with red chilies, roasted fenugreek seeds, mustard powder, tamarind, and salt. The preheated cooking oil is seasoned with this mixture and cooked on low flame for 10 minutes. This pickle loaded with all the health benefits is a must-try culinary.
Banana Flower Pickle
Banana is a magic fruit with instant energy. But banana flowers could be pickled, never thought about it. The Indian kitchen queens know exactly how to tingle the taste buds with Vazhipoo/banana flower pickle. This pickle not only helps to lower cholesterol and controls diabetes and piles. The Banana blossom has a nutty and fruity flavor.
The flowers are washed and sauteed in sesame oil for a few minutes. Tamarind extract along with jaggery, salt, turmeric powder, and chili powder is variegated into the simmering broth of flowers. The blend is slowly cooked till it gets thickened and is ready to eat on cooling. This sweet, sour, and astringent pickle is a culinary marvel to spice up your meals.
Orange Tholi Pickle
Orange Peel pickle is another culinary marvel that can be prepared instantly. Washed and chopped Orange peels are pressure cooked. Red chili powder, Asafoetida, turmeric powder, methi powder, jaggery, and salt are infused into the mixture and boiled.
With a dash of lemon juice and tempered mustard seeds is ready to spice up your meals, especially with rice. This tangy flavored pickle is rich in Vitamin C which works as an excellent immunity booster.
Green Apple Pickle
Our mothers' have been quite insistent about eating apples once a day to keep the doctor away. But little did we know that Green Apple pickle comes with a truckload of benefits. From being rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and phytonutrients it's a wonder fruit for improved eye vision.
This Indian-style crispy green apple pickle when seasoned with roasted mustard, fenugreek seeds, and asafoetida can be enjoyed with curd rice and upma. The taste is further intensified by adding a few garlic cloves, chili powder, and salt. The chopped green apple pieces are tossed and turned in the spices and are kept for 30 minutes. The pickle is ready to spruce up your taste buds.
Topa Kuler Pickle
Topa Kuler or Indian berry (ber) or Jujubes are getting a distant reality due to growing urbanization. Jujube pickle is a sweet and sour signature Bengali pickle. Kul or Jujube is a seasonal fruit available from February to April. The fresh and ripe Jujube are washed and sundried for 30 minutes.
These are seasoned with roasted cumin seeds, chili powder, jaggery, and salt. The mixture is cooked till it becomes thick and sticky. The pickle is further garnished with roasted Panch Phoran powder to enhance its taste and aroma.
The fresh green stems of Mustard are called Gandal in Punjab. Gandal pickle is prepared in the winter season when fresh mustard greens or Sarson ka saag ornates your veggie basket. The pickles have the same benefits as a mustard plant.
The thin skin over the thick mustard stems is peeled off and washed thoroughly. They are then boiled on a medium flame, strained, and left to dry. All the spicy spices in the kitchen are added to these Gandals along with mustard oil and vinegar. A thoroughly mixed pickle is kept in the sun for 3-5 days. The finger-licking Gandal pickle is good to eat.
Mulakkada Pachadi or Drumstick Pickle
Moringa or Drumstick is now known to be a superfood as it is equipped with 99 essential amino acids that are rare to be just in one plant. All the parts of the Drumstick tree right from seeds, roots, pods, fruits, and flowers have medicinal properties. It regulates blood sugar, strengthens your back muscles, is a great immunity booster, helps purify the blood and the list goes on and on.
The tangy and spicy flavor of the pickle comes from garnishing it with mustard seeds, a few garlic cloves, and fresh curry leaves all tempered in oil. Soaked chana is also added to the pickle mix.
Tindora or Kundru Pickle
Kundru or Ivy Gourd is relished in India and is imbibed with the goodness of beta carotenes, Vitamins. The Kundrus are washed and chopped into small pieces. On drying, they are mixed with salt and left to marinate in the sun.
The excess water is drained and the marinated Kundrus are variegated with red chili powder, split mustard and fenugreek seeds, and some oil. The pickle is ready to be preserved in a dry, sterilized glass jar. This instant and easy-to-prepare pickle, loaded with all the health benefits is a perfect culinary to embellish your palate.
Achaar/ pickle is a dining requirement that's one of the most smartest and innovative culinary creations that ornates the Indian kitchen. Pickles truly add flavor to your food with a lot of health benefits.
"Spice up your life with these unique and yummy pickles."