Tangy Story of Indian Pickle

Pickle – This one word define the flavour of any Indian meal. When you eat authentic Indian cuisine, a small portion of pickle is kept on the left side of a plate.

This small portion has a power to bring the taste even in a bland meal. You can say that we Indians are absolutely crazy about the pickle made in a traditional way. Many people who stay abroad or roam around the world have a habit of carrying their favorite pickle in their luggage. So, when the food taste bland, a small amount of pickle can give them a good meal satisfaction. With this I don’t mean that food of other countries are bland, but we Indians just love everything spicy.

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Origin of Pickle in India

History of pickle can be dated centuries back. In ancient times, people didn’t have the luxury of getting vegetables and fruits all-round the year. Nor they had any facility to store their vegetables for longer time. So, to keep food preserved for longer duration, vegetables were stored in jar with salt. The first pickle was made from cucumber. This process kept the vegetable edible for longer time but the pickle use to taste too salty. To overcome this problem, the use of honey and jaggery started with other spices. All this gave a unique taste and texture to stored vegetables. The use of spices in pickles is only seen in India and some parts of Asia. Even in Vedas, one of the oldest books written in history have mention of making and use of pickles.

Pickle making in India

As I said, Indians love their pickle that’s why you can find different varieties of pickles in any grocery stores. Commonly the pickles in India are made from raw mango, chili, carrot, garlic, cranberry, lemon, mix vegetable, lasuda – a wild berry type of fruit and many other. Every family has their own unique way to make their pickle. There is no set measurement to make a good pickle. It’s always the trial and error method to make pickle in Indian home. But, one can find the major taste difference in the North Pickle from the Western Belt and Southern Part of India. The Pickle from North side have more balanced taste and stored in mustard oil which balance the spices. In Western region, people like to add bit of jaggery in their pickle for a slight sweet flavor. South Indian pickle are made in sesame oil with lots of spices for a fiery taste. Andhra Pradesh is known for its pickle making industry in India. Every pickle is made by using different spices to enhance the taste of stored fruit or vegetable. In north, spices like mustard seeds, red chili, aniseeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, onion seeds and other dried spices are used to make a pickle. But in south, whole spices like black pepper, dried ginger, clove, black cumin seeds and even cinnamon are used to have that extra spicy flavor.

Types of Pickle

Indian Pickle has a very big market in India as well as abroad, thanks to the Indian living worldwide. They have not only demand for a traditional pickle but sharing Indian pickle taste with other people. With so much demand, many companies in India are focusing on making different types of pickle that are healthy, less in calories and taste good. If you love pickle then look for two varieties of pickle that are in demand by many people.

The Quick Serve Pickle

This is the fresh form of pickle which are seasonally available in market. One can easily make quick serve pickle at home too. All you have to do is cut raw mango in small dices and mix salt, pickle masala with oil. Stir well and you got a delicious bowl of pickle in your Indian meal.

The Oil Free Pickle

This version of pickle is the popular one in the market. You can find oil free pickle version in green chili, mixed vegetable, lemon, mango and even mix of different vegetables. It has very less oil so almost no calories but very good in taste. But remember this pickle contains vinegar so remember to eat in small portions only.