Nostalgia in jars

Aug 31, 2014, 08:41 IST | Nikshubha Garg

Barnee’s pickles boast of home-made flavours, reminiscent of the ones made by our grandmothers

When Ruta Karve Misra came back from Le Cordon Bleu in London a few years ago, little did she know that her future business plan would rest on something she wasn’t “fond” of. “I never liked pickles, but after marriage, I got a taste of my mother-in-law’s (Vandana Misra) yummy pickle treats. I was hooked and it led to the birth of our venture — Barnee (jar),” elaborates the entrepreneur.

Achari Chana, Zesty Raisins, Pickled Pyaz and Adbhut Aam

Thanks to today’s fast-paced life, readymade pickles are an instant hit. But they lack the freshness of home-made pickles that our grandmothers made for us with oodles of love. However, one glance at Barnee’s menu and we are tempted to try the diverse pickles that are supposed to be “preservative free” and “authentic”. We placed an order and a rectangular white gift-like box was delivered at our doorstep within 30 minutes. We began with the Pickled Pyaaz (R150 for 200 gm) which comprised whole small onions pickled in a red chilli and pepper-infused mustard oil.

We are onion lovers, so this was an instant hit with our taste buds. The sweetness of the onions was well-balanced with the heat of the chillies and pepper. We then moved on to the Mango-Miri (R150 for 200 gm) that comprises peeled raw mangoes with crushed kali miri (pepper) and hing (asafoetida). We liked the combination of tender raw mangoes with hing and kali miri. The most striking aspect of the dish was that though the hing left a strong aftertaste, it didn’t overpower the raw mangoes’ sour taste.

Next, we decided to go for something sweeter and tried the Chunda (R150 for 200 gm), which is Barnee’s take on Gujarati chunda that is tangy, sweet and spicy. This didn’t disappoint us either and offered a welcome break from the taste of spices lingering in our mouth. It had the right amount of sweetness and wasn’t too spicy. Elated, we dug in to what we can say was by the far the most interesting pickle. Zesty Raisins (R250 for 200 gm), as the name suggests, is candied raisins in tangy lemon juice. Though we were initially sceptical of raisins and lemon juice making for a good combination, one spoonful of the pickle and we were left wanting for more. The ginger, raisins and limejuice made for a heady combination and the crunchiness of the ginger blended well with gooey raisins.

Following the Zesty Raisins was the Green Gulp (R550 for 330 ml) which is packaged and sold as a refreshing aloe vera cooler. One gulp and we can tell you that after bittergourd, this was the most bitter thing we have tasted in a while. We suggest you keep some chocolate handy while having this cooler. You will need it. The makers claim that the ‘cooler’ isn’t meant to be tasty but boasts of several health benefits. Well, we hope so. We concluded our tasting session with Achari Chana (R150 for 200 gm), which for us was the tastiest among the lot. The grated mango and black gram worked very well together and we couldn’t help but lick our fingers, yearning for more.

Pickles uplift the flavour of plain, old dal chawal or parathas. If you are in the mood for some homemade pickles, Barnee’s definitely the way to go.

Barnee also offers other varieties of pickles such as Adbhut Aam, Vadu Mangai and Tangy Turmeric.

You can place your orders on 9819587975 or mail on

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