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Today, I would like to write something on cultural aspect. The north Indian belt of Hindi speakers is a home to incredibly vast and diverse cuisine. Today, how about a delicious topic out of this cuisine. Yes, I am talking about Pickles (Achar), which is an integral part of our daily cuisine.
Pickles (Achar) are made of chopped vegetables, which are dried traditionally (in sunlight) (but some people make it without drying because of the different taste and textures it offers). Thereafter, they are mixed with various species & edible oil and stored in vessel for a couple of days. Pickles can taste bitter, sour and sometime sweet. According to traditional belief, pickles are taken in order to supplement in digestion.
There are various pickles that are very common in our cuisine. I will talk about some of the most common pickles that we enjoy during our meal.
1. Aam ka Achar (Mango Pickle)
Mango pickle is unarguably the most famous and widely available pickle. Mango is the national fruit of India.
It is made from the unripened mango. From different source, it may taste different as how the person or company make it. It may be dry with less oil & spices and non dried with much oil & spices.
2. Nimbu ka Achar (Lemon Pickle)
Lemon pickle is loved by many people as it offer distinct flavor. It can taste lemon bitter and when made with sugar, it offer just a bittersweet taste. It is the an easy pickle to make at home. Lemon are available all season, inexpensive and they don’t require the drying as well. They also take less time to absorb spices and oil.
3. Lal Mirch Ka Achar (Green Chili Pickle)
Green chili are not to be dared, right? Well, some people thinks otherwise. Green Chili pickle is favorite of many that even includes my own mother, who is just fond of its strong salty taste . It is the easiest pickle that one can make. So, how to make it? Just make a long cut along the length of green chili and stuff them with some spices and salt. Leave it for few days in oil, that’s it.
4. Gajar ka Achar (Carrot Pickle)
Carrot pickle is one of my favorite as it gives a totally different texture & taste to my taste buds . Somehow it does not takes spices and oil deep inside the sliced carrots like other pickles take. That makes it taste spiced but as soon you bite it, it will come up with little sweetness. It is made by slicing carrot 3-4 cm long part along length, and dividing 6-8 equal parts along carrot circular thickness. Thereafter, dried/non-dried carrot pieces are mixed with usual spices, salt and oil.
5. Achar/Mila hua Achar (Mixed Vegetable Pickle)
Mixed vegetable pickle is liked by many people who like different flavor of pickles and/or they don’t want to make all pickles at home. It is usually purchased from supermarket than to make an effort to make it at home as getting some seasoned vegetables is hard. Mixed vegetable pickle includes mango, lemon, carrot, cauliflower, green chili, ginger, garlic and many more mixed together.