What would Indian cuisine be without pickles? Not only do they add to the taste of each dish but they also aid the digestion process, making them a must-have with any meal. Pickles are actually fruits or vegetables that have been cured using salt, spices, sugar and other ingredients depending on taste.
So without further ado, here are ten must-try Indian pickles. Why not try them at home, or book a Kensington Indian restaurant, and see them used first-hand?
1. Mango Picle
This is a firm favourite made from unripe mango and cured using oil, salt, vinegar and a choice of spices. It can be sweetened with sugar or left sour. It can also be spicy or mild depending on your preferences.
2. Gajar Gobhi Shalgam ka Achar Pickle
This is made using fresh cauliflower, carrots and turnips. This traditional pickle tastes best when the vegetables are picked fresh and cured instantly. Making a big batch that’ll last all year round is recommended.
3. Radish Pickle
Radish is a root vegetable with a slightly bitter and strong taste. Yet when it’s made into a pickle the flavour becomes more subtle and you’re left with a crunchy, tangy, spicy vegetable that can be consumed out of the jar. It’s available in two types. Radishes can either be mixed with spices or sliced and soaked in vinegar.
4. Lemon/Lime Pickle
The zest of lemons and limes are used to create a wonderfully zesty pickle with a fresh aroma. This pickle can be added to all sorts of dishes but is particularly delicious when combined with lamb. Mix some lemon/lime pickle into the pot or serve as a dish accompaniment.
5. Onion Pickle
Onions are soaked in a vinegar solution to give them a tangy taste. This pickle is often served as a small salad or side dish along with dal, rotis, sabzi and rice.
6. Bharwa Lal Mirch Ka Achar
This is a spicy, masala-stuffed red chilli pickle from North India. It’s spicy, tangy, sour and mildly sweet, making it one of the most popular Indian pickles. It typically takes three to four days under the warm sun rays to get ready for consumption and has a shelf life of around one year. This pickle is suitable for vegans and those allergic to gluten.
7. Green Chilli Pickle
Also known as Hari Mirch ka Achar, this pickle will have your taste buds dancing thanks to its spicy kick. It’s made using green chilli peppers, mustard seeds, salt and mustard oil and is served as a side with Indian meals. You can play around with the spice levels depending on whether you like a fiery pickle or something a little on the milder side.
8. Garlic Pickle
Garlic has many health benefits. It helps boost the immune system, reduces high blood pressure and cholesterol and has antibiotic properties. So it makes sense to turn this plant into a delicious pickle. As garlic pickle takes a bit of time for the flavours to develop, it’s important to allow the garlic cloves to marinate in pickling liquid for a minimum of two to three days if you’re making it yourself. As they say, patience is a virtue and you’ll be thankful for the deep garlic taste.
9. Teent ka Achaar
This is a delicious and unique pickle made in Rajasthan and Haryana using Tenti Dela which is a small green fruit.
10. Lotus Stem Pickle
As the national flower of India, Lotus stem is also used in Indian cuisine. It’s perfect for pickles as it provides a delicious crunch. It can be mixed with other vegetables such as carrots or pickled solo.