Pickling – known in India as making Achaar – is both an art as well a science. The “art” element is something that you have already seen in your Mom’s and Grandma’s pickles. Those pickles are magical! And amazingly – year after year, they deliver the same thrill, the same excitement and the same tantalizing effect on your taste-buds. This aspect of “art” comes from having signature recipes with little tips-and-tricks that have been acquired over years of experience.
The dimension of “science” when it comes to pickling is quite well-defined. Three vital aspects must co-exist to make great pickling happen. These are Weather, Dryness and Mustard Oil.
The hot summer months are ideal for pickling. Sunshine is a prime requisite. That’s why the pickling jars are put out on open terraces, balconies and window sills. The pickles need to soak in the sun as part of the pickling process.
The Dryness Factor is equally critical. Moisture is the biggest enemy of pickling. If your pickles go bad, get attacked by mould, or lose their zing and aroma, the villain is – in all probability – moisture. That is why all the fruits, vegetables, spices and other ingredients must be dried thoroughly. The pickling jars should also be sterilized and dried. And moreover, the pickling jars must be brought indoors at night to prevent moisture from setting in.
The third vital aspect is Mustard Oil. Mustard Oil is the natural, healthy preservative that Mother Nature created as an ideal pickling agent. It is also a taste agent – and adds to the aromatic appeal of the pickles. The secret is to use high-quality cold-pressed Mustard Oil. With its powerful antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal properties, Mustard Oil keeps your pickles free from moulds and pathogens.
So now you know everything about the Art and Science of Pickling – all you need to do is grab the ingredients you want, get some top-notch Mustard Oil, and get started. Happy Pickling!