Each one of us remember our moms and grand moms making pickle. It is a relish consisting of vegetables or fruits preserved with spices in vinegar or brine or some oil.
We have always thought that our moms and grand moms are far away from science. There are a lot of stories, some funny and some nostalgic related to pickle. A lot of old and new stories. But to your surprise, there is a lot of science involved in making and preserving a pickle; yes, even a simple home-made pickle.
The process begins with the selection of mangoes. Fundamental of aachar is to control the moisture content in the pickle. And not to forget, the selection of mangoes.
The under mentioned are the key points to be kept in mind while selecting mangoes for a pickle.
– The mangoes should be big in size.
– The mangoes should be dark green in color and should have a very thin skin.
– The seed should be small and the more the sap content, the better it will be.
– The mangoes should be hard and raw and not ripen.
– The raw part to be used for pickle should be white in color.
-The pickle is yummier if the mango is citrus.
The reason of pickle getting spoilt is fungus formation. The moisture which has to evaporate completely, if not done carefully mixes with the oil and forms emulsion and the pickle goes rancid.
The scientific approach to making a yummy achaar is to reduce and control moisture for which the pickle has to be kept depending upon the type of pickle or the technique used for making it. This process takes a week approximately. This increases the shelf life of the pickle.
It is very important to put correct amount of salt to preserve the pickle well. Salt and turmeric also helps in maturing the pickle properly. Apart from this, the turmeric acts as an antibiotic.
Do you know that there are also many myths related to pickle, like :
- We should not make pickle at night.
- We shouldn’t make a pickle without taking bath.
- Keeping the pickle in Sun is the oldest and most trusted myth.
- The pickle shouldn’t be opened at night.
- And this one, a woman in her periods should not even touch the pickle. Really ?!
Pickle is a traditional recipe which is modified according to the taste of Individuals. It does not depend on looks, qualifications or personality. It is an art which improves with practice.