There are five good reasons why Grandma’s pickles were always perfect. You can use them as pointers for ensuring the success of your own pickling endeavours.
One: You must get the time right; wait for the right season. Pickling needs the bright summer sun along with dry heat. These are the reasons why the Pickling Season is on in full swing all across north India right now. A humid summer is not good for pickles. In fact, humidity and moisture spell doom for your pickles. If there is even a bit of unseasonal rain while you are pickling… well, you have to throw it all away and start again.
Two: This “no moisture” caveat leads us to the second point. The fruits (or vegetables) that you select for pickling must be cut and thoroughly dried. The traditional practice is to cure the cut pieces with salt and dry them in the sun.
Three: Get the right “equipment”. You will need glass or porcelain pickling jars. You will also need clean cloth (muslin is better) and some string to tied the cloth around the neck of the jar. The cloth allows the pickle to “breathe” and mature.
Four: Choose the right Mustard Oil. Mustard Oil is the preservative as well as the taste agent. Choose it well. Select only cold-pressed Mustard Oil (known as Kachchi Ghani). With its powerful antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal properties, Mustard Oil keeps your pickles healthy and free from any mould or bacterial growth.
Five: Keep it natural. This was the essence of Grandma’s secret recipes. She didn’t use cold-storage fruits and vegetables, packaged spices or refined oil. The best pickles are made with fresh fruits, freshly ground spices and cold-pressed Mustard Oil.
Do it like Grandma! Recreate the magic of her mouth-watering pickles.