Pickling is an activity that dates back to centuries and Indians definitely have a hand on it. Curing vegetables and fruits in a mixture of brine, sesame oil or mustard oil and spices has been a common practice in India since ages, though the history is quite unclear.
The choice of pickling Fruits and Vegetables is most common and wide, owing to the agricutural diversity in India thus ensuring availablity of seasonal produce round the year. Speaking scientifically, the Salt, Oil and Spices create a bacteriostatic environment for the pickle to stay fresh and consumable for say as long as 12 - 24 months.
The style of pickling varies region wise with South Indians using sesame Oil, Fenugreek and Asafoetida as main ingredients as opposed to North Indians using Mustard oil and other spices. Whatsoever, pickles are the best keepers and comes handy as an ideal accompaniment on days when you really want to keep your meal simple.
Pickles are an integral part of any an Indian home/ meal and the consummate feeling that arises after a bowl of yoghurt rice with a hint of pickle ( Mango or Lemon ) is an unbeatable combination giving us the perfect Feel at home experience. Many of us am sure would carry lovely memories of pickles since early childhood. I used to watch my grandmother and mother in awe as they involved in laborious Pickle making projects during summers. The beautiful Beige and Amber coloured Ceramic jars being filled with pickles and the bright orange coloured Oil floating on top is a drool worthy sight.
I specially thank Smt.Singari Indira and Sri.Singari Vijay of Mahanandi who were kind enough to permit me share their image above on this page. Thank you very much for this kind gesture.
I have developed interest in Pickling after my marriage and I owe a big thanks to my MIL for this. I learnt this Pickle powder recipe from her which also happens to be the base or the main powder that blends well with other spices, vegetable or fruit. I have given the measurements ( measured using a stainless steel tumbler of 300ml capacity) for approximately 1/2 kg of Pickle powder that can be stored in the refirigerator and used as and when needed. However, the quantity of powder usage for each pickle may vary.
3/4th Tumbler of powdered Crystal salt
1 to1 1/2 tumbler of red chilli powder ( I used 250gms of long Red and 50 gms of Kashmiri chillies)
1/4th tumbler of fenugreek seeds
1/8th tumbler of mustard seeds
1/8th tumbler of turmeric powder
10 to12 small bits of compounded asafoetida
- Sun dry all the ingredients separately. For those who do not have abundant sunshine, dry roast the ingredients slightly in an empty hot kadai for 2 mins each. Not more than that.
- First powder the sundried crystal salt and spread it out on to a plate.
- Next powder the fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and compounded asafoetida to a coarse powder.
- Transfer this into a ziploc bag and store it in the freezer or proceed straight away to make your favoutite Pickle.
- Coming up next on Tuma's Tongue Treats - Sweet Mango Pickle and Andhra Style Avakkaya Pickle!!
- I have used measurements to suit my family member's taste. As far as the chilli powder is concerned, you can always top up more powder as required while pickling. Ensure to keep separate stock of red chilli powder for later use.
- Also remember that the requirement of red chilli powder will vary depending on what you want to pickle. Some fruits like gooseberries and tomatoes do not require too much spice like the sour ones. So adjust accordingly.
- The salt quantity that I ve mentioned is sufficient for any pickle. You need not add any extra salt while pickling.
- If you have sun dried the ingredients well, then you can store this powder even for 1 year and use.