Indian pickle or Achaar is quite different from Western pickle. Most Achaars use oil and spices for flavoring and therefore can stay on the shelf for a long time.
Achaar is almost always ‘ripened’ in the sun which causes the black mustard (rye) to ferment, imparting the classic sour taste to the vegetable used. Sour fruits such as raw mango and lime/lemon do not need the added fermentation but exposing the Achaar to the sun for a few days in a glass jar helps prolong shelf life.
My mother was very creative when it came to making Achaar. As far as I know, she invented the “Green Pea Achaar” which she made by boiling fresh, ripe, green peas in the pod, shelling and air drying the extra moisture before adding oil and spices. She used pure mustard oil for all her Achaars which is hard to find in Western markets. I use extra virgin olive oil and enjoy its sharp flavor.
The recipe below includes the most common spices used in Achaar. Besides using for Achaar, this spice blend can be used for lamb, beef and stuffed vegetables such as eggplants, karela, okra and Stuffed Bell Peppers.
Approximately 1/2 cup.
2 tbsps. fennel seeds
2 tbsps. onion seeds, divided
2 tbsps. black mustard seeds (rye) or yellow mustard seeds
1 tbsp. fenugreek seeds
1 tbsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. asafoetida powder
1 tsp. ajowan seeds
You can also buy Achaar Masala on my shop page.
- Coarsely grind fennel seeds, onion seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and ajowan seeds in a spice mill or coffee grinder.
- Mix in turmeric and asafoetida.
- Store in a jar in a cool, dry place.
Copyright © Rashmi Rustagi 2012. All Rights Reserved.