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Indian Pickles

Posted on 01/14/2020 at 02:00 AM by Madhu Gadia

January 14, 2020

Indian Pickles

I have to admit, this is a totally random topic for my blog, but maybe not. I just read an article in the New York Times called India’s ‘Pickle Queen’ Preserves Everything, Including the Past’, By Tejal Rao and I had to share it with you.

The article sent me back to my grandparents’ home in India. Making mango pickles in the summer was a family affair. In season, they would buy large quantity of raw mangoes. The pickles had to last a whole year. The mangoes were cleaned and then chopped by a special cleaver as it cut through the pit. In my family men typically did the chopping as it required physical upper arm strength. Adults watched over the process vigilantly to avoid any contamination. The pickles were made and preserved in large ceramic jars (5-gallon size). There was a corner in the storeroom for the pickles, and you knew you were not to touch it. Only a designated person transferred it into smaller jars.

Homemade Pickles

Although, I can buy all kinds of commercial pickles today, I still make my own sweet mango pickle, apple cranberry pickle, lime pickle, and green chili pickle. I can't find any pickle as good as my mom's, so I had to learn. I have shared the Mango Chutney and Apple Cranberry Chutney recipes in my cookbook, The Indian Vegan Kitchen. I do buy commercial sour mango pickles; as I am unable to find pickling mangoes in this country, yet at least.

Super Intense

Word of caution for non-Indians - pickles are eaten in small quantity, think of it like wasabi, super intense. Do not eat them like a vegetable (I've actually seen, first timers take a big bite and ... there are so many flavors you may scream). A teaspoon of sour, spicy and hot pickle is enough for a whole meal, for most people. Of course, sweet pickles are like spicy jams and can more of them.


Recipe on Facebook Page

For an Apple Cranberry Chutney recipe, please check out my Facebook Page. I just posted the recipe on the page.

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