Don't be in a pickle
Summer's here. With all the time you have on hand, we thought we'd invite five seasoned achaar makers to help you start from scratch
Choosing the right pickle can make the flavours of a dish pop and work wonders. So, while you practice social distancing, here’s how you can try your hand at making some of your own.
A mixed vegetable pickle with carrots, cauliflower, green garlic, turnip, lotus stem, green chillies, raisins and dry dates, is what Priya Bajaj recommends. “The vegetables need to be boiled and cooled on a kitchen towel. It takes two days to prepare; leave it in the sun for four to five hours and then transfer it to a glass jar. Cut the vegetables in equal sizes. Sterilise the containers and don’t salt the pickle,” the Santacruz resident tells us.
Divisha Jadhwani of Santacruz-based Jars and Journeys grew up gorging on pickles her mother would pick up, including lemon ones. And she still makes them. “Lemons are rich in vitamin C. Include it in your diet to boost immunity,” she says. While making it at home, pick fresh ingredients and make sure you stir it daily.
Home chef Saroj Chawla who supplies home-made food to offices across Mumbai, says the carrot pickle is quick and easy to make, as you need to simply sun-dry the ingredients, soak them in oil and spices, and let them sit in the sun. “Oil acts as a barrier to prevent the ingredients from becoming dry and avoids the growth of bacteria,” says the Chembur resident, adding that you should heat and then cool the oil before adding it to the pickle.
40 and counting
Suman Kalra, who runs a bakery, has been making lemon, mango, turnip and carrot pickles, for 40 years now — all recipes taught to her by her mother-in-law. Of all the North Indian recipes, the Chembur resident picks the mango pickle as the simplest to make, but you need to keep in mind that the oil and salt should be balanced. “Use rai oil, and ensure its level is a little above the contents of the pickle,” she adds.
Chef Mohini Jadeja of Kale and Quinoa says pickle has been her go-to in continental food since she started binging on the mango variant her dadi used to make.The simple pickle the Navi Mumbai resident suggests is to take any veggie and simmer it in vinegar and salt — a healthy option. “Cucumbers are ideal, but you can use beetroot or radish. It can be eaten as it is or mixed with hummus and pita,” she recommends.
Shalgam, gobi and gajar achaar
- 1 kg shalgam, gajar, gobi
- 2 tbsp red chilli powder
- 1/2 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1/4th cup salt
- 1 big onion
- 6 to 7 garlic pods
- 1 tbsp rai powder
- 1/4 cup rai oil
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup jaggery
- 1 small piece of ginger
- Slice and dice the vegetables into rectangles, wash thoroughly and leave it to dry on a muslin cloth for half an hour.
- Mix jaggery and vinegar and keep it on the side for one hour.
- Heat the rai oil till the maximum level and turn off the flame.
- Turn the heat back on and grate ginger, lehsun, onion and put it into the oil and cook for five minutes.
- Put the salt, chilli powder, rai powder and pour the jaggery and vinegar mix in the kadhai.
- Put the vegetables in the mix and toss it for two to three minutes.
- Cover and keep for 24 hours.
- Then remove the vegetables out of the kadhai and dehydrate the liquid on the stove.
- Mix the vegetables with the reduced masalas and cool it.
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