26 May Mustard Oil and the Pickling Connection
The pickling season is here and all across north India, you can see pickling jars… clustered on terraces, rooftops, balconies and window sills… delicious, mouth-watering Achaar maturing slowly in the hot Indian summer sun…. There are all kinds of pickles – mango, lemon, chilli… the only thing they have in common is the pickling medium: Mustard Oil.
Why Mustard Oil? For thousands of years, cold-pressed Mustard Oil has been used for pickling because it is a natural preservative. Yes, the reason why pickles don’t go bad after many months (even years, in some cases and climates) is because the fruits and vegetables are preserved by the Mustard Oil. In fact, in ancient times pickling was used as a method for preserving fruits and vegetables so that they could be consumed later, during the harsh winter months when these fruits and vegetables became scarce.
Mustard Oil has powerful antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal properties. This prevents the formation of any mould or bacterial growth in the pickles. Usually, food is spoilt by the growth of fungus, bacteria and harmful microorganisms. In the case of pickles, the Mustard Oil prevents this kind of contamination and keeps your pickles fresh and edible at all times.
Mustard Oil also gives pickles the power to stimulate the appetite and soothe the gastrointestinal tract, making Achaar a healthy and beneficial accompaniment for your meals.