Sunday, March 13, 2016

With Love, Pickles from East

Pickle fruits and vegetables on the roadside of Meghalaya is a very common sight
Do you always remember a place for some wildlife value or some historical connection? Or is it always the Natural beauty of a place that you associate with?
Remember those sunny and much awaited summer holidays that used to be our highlights months during childhood? Wasn’t waiting to go to your native place, spending time with your grandparents one of the best memories of your childhood? Well, I don’t know about you guys, but it surely was for me.
I am from Orissa but we stayed in Gujarat for most of my school days and I loved it when it was time to go to Orissa during summers – to Cuttack, my home-town, and our ancestral village – Jharia – near Puri, Orissa. (Oh yes, I am not a total urban chick and I still love my very typically laid back village). Are you wondering why I jumped from destination appeal to childhood memories? Well, Orissa for me is a lot of things – culture, temples, architecture, traditions, nature and food!

Guess what this is?!? - From East, but my Mom's Kitchen!
Summer is here and it used to be a traditional thing for my grandmothers to make jars of pickles for all of us post the holidays. How I loved randomly eating the sweet tangy pickles kept in ceramic jars or Barnis. In India, in traditional houses, you would always find big glass or ceramic jars filled with freshly made pickles sitting on windows to mature and become better with time. My mom has kept that tradition alive and yes she did make three very typical pickles from East this time! So this post is about some classic flavours of east that might lead you on a virtual food tour to Orissa, like it did to me!

Pickles and Spices
Mango Pickle – Yes the most common pickle in India I guess but trust me when I say raw mango the eastern way has a slight bit of twist that makes it very special. In Orissa specially the pickle mix is cooked with ‘Amula’ or dried mango center and has dried mango powder or ‘Aamchur’. Mango over dose right? Started day dreaming about mangoes already? Don’t worry, they will hit the market in a couple of weeks. Now moving on…

Mango Pickle from traditional spice garden
India Plum or Barakoli Pickle – Well this is a specialty of Orissa as far as I know but it is pretty famous in West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhad as well, as Kuller Achaar. Dried plums seeped in tamarind juice and sugar along with other spices. You can imagine the tanginess right?

Indian Plum or Barakoli Pickle
Bamboo Shoot Pickle – This might sound odd and weird, but believe me when I say that it is one of the most used pickles of east and very famous, even in the north east. Spicy pickled baby bamboo shoots chopped and marinated in mustard oil with lemon juice and fenugreek powder – this mix, known as Karadi Aachaar, sure originated in the Kosal region of India but with time has become an integral part of many ancestral houses of East India, including mine!

Bamboo Shoot or Karadi Aachaar

So well this was my virtual tour of the week, does food trigger memories and travel tales for you? If so tell me what in the comments! 

13 comments:

  1. Very nice one. The bamboo shoot pickel is not that popular in West Bengal however the remaining two are very popular with us Bengalis

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    1. Thanks Ani :) And Bamboo shoot pickle is very famous in Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and all those places...weird it hasn't made its place in West Bengal households...but do try it when you get a chance..you will love it!!

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  2. Awesome ! Wish to have every one of those.

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  3. I am having a tough time !! Mouth-watering and all ;)

    The first image reminded me of home :)

    Cheers,
    Rajiv

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    1. Haha the pickle love in Meghalaya was something I had never expected!

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    2. In Meghalaya, you can find pickles of *anything*. I mean yeah, literally anything!!

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  4. Vee.... when can I taste these???? look sooooo yummmm.... and awesome pics...

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    1. Anks come over!!! Mom has made a loooooot of these! :) and thanks :D

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  5. Loved the pickles.. I am from Assam and our summers are too incomplete without the pickles. Bamboo shoots are signature Asssamese food and we call it kharicha which is eaten with everything on the earth.. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks :)
      And kharicha! Now I know what karadi is called in Assam thanks to you :D

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  6. OMG, the next thing that I want is pickles. Haven't had any of them before.
    I will love the Bamboo shoot one.

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    1. Manjulika you sure would love them all!!!

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