Summer is the season for pickling for a majority of Indian elderly women. Ravneet Bhalla has seen her dadi and Nani, mom and mother in law choosing to preserve some fruits and vegetables for the harsh weather ahead. Pickles are healthy in the sense that they make you salivate. Guilty indulgence is of course not recommended. Last year, mom inspired me to make karele ka achaar. This time I chose to take the initiative to make bitter gourd pickle as well as mango pickle for ma. Here are my favorites posing in this frame.
Karele ka achaar
Aaam ka sukha achaar
Aam ka gila achaar
Karele ka achar is easy to make at home. I love indian pickles as they remind us of our rich culinary heritage. remember, your dadis and nanis making big batches of pickles of seasonal vegetables. that was a way to preserve food for tough times. hey did you know pickles are healthy too? yes, they make you salivate and give you an extra reason to enjoy food. now think of bitter gourd pickle and you might say who makes karele ka achar.
lekin dosto, ravneet bhalla loves pickles and karela is one of my favorite vegetables. it is good for diabetics and everyone alike. so let's rinse an wash karela. then drown it in salt and turmeric. thoda rub kar do hatho see achi tarah.. keep aside for 2 hours. i often keep it overnight..but that's not needed. once bitter gourd has released its juices. squeeze and proceed to the next step in pickle making. spread on a cloth or baking paper for the moisture to dry out. leave it under fan or in the sun if that is possible.
simultaneously keep the masala in the sun. you will need rai or mustard seeds, saunf or fennel seeds,and methi dana or fenugreek seeds.. hing or asafoetida is usually added to pickles for flavor and improving their digestibility. when the masala has had a sun bath for 2-3hours, you can pulse it with mineral or pink or common salt, black salt, jaggery powder, and turmeric. once the moisture looks lost, let's marry karela with the spices. take a sterilized glass jar, add apple cider vinegar. now layer karela in the bottle. then mix with the coarse spice powder along with Kashmiri red chili powder,. shake the jar well so that the masala coats every single piece of karela. keep aside for an hour. then pour mustard oil on top of karela pickle. you may heat mustard oil first and then let it cool before mixing with the bitter gourd pickle. keep the achar in sun for 7-8 days and shake the jar daily. your pickle will stay good for years.