Fresh produce of all kinds, including fruits and vegetables, is abundant during the winter. People can preserve these ingredients for the rest of the year and take full advantage of the seasonal abundance by pickling during the winter. North Indian families practise pickling as a traditional culinary art, and they frequently have special recipes that have been passed down through the generations. Winter pickling develops into a custom that preserves a link to culinary history.
During the winter months, winter pickles give meals a strong flavour boost. Spices, acidity, and preserved vegetables work well together to enhance heartier, more comforting wintertime dishes. In North India, rich, filling dishes are common during the winter months. Pickling balance the overall flavour profile of the dish with their tangy and occasionally spicy profiles. Here are some well-liked pickle recipes from the cuisine of North India:
1. Garlic Pickle: The strong, aromatic flavour of garlic pickle is well-known in North Indian cooking. Fresh garlic cloves are used to give garlic pickles their powerful, aromatic flavour. Red chilli powder, fenugreek, and mustard seeds are just a few of the spices that add spiciness. Acidic ingredients like vinegar, lemon juice, or raw mango are used to give the pickle its tanginess. This counteracts the potent tastes of spices and garlic. Often, a mixture of spicy spices like cumin, fennel, and mustard seeds is used to season garlic pickles. The pickle's flavour is made more complex by these spices. Because of its adaptability, garlic pickles go well with a lot of different foods. It is compatible.
2. Chilli Pickle: North Indian Chilli Pickle is a flavorful and spicy condiment that gives meals a spicy kick. Pickles made with hot green chillies are renowned for their potent and fiery taste. The addition of vinegar, lemon juice, or other souring agents provides the tanginess. The pickle's rich and nuanced flavour profile is enhanced by the addition of spices like asafoetida, fenugreek, and mustard seeds. The crunchy texture of the pickled chillies is often retained, giving a delightful bite. The combination of spices, which includes mustard, coriander, and cumin, gives the pickle body and umami. Chilli pickles' spiciness can stimulate appetite and improve the whole eating experience.
3. Mixed Vegetable Pickle: Pickles made from mixed vegetables combine the distinct flavours and textures of different vegetables to create a flavorful concoction. It might contain turnips, cauliflower, carrots, and other vegetables. The pickle's distinctive tangy flavour is produced by adding ingredients like vinegar or lemon juice, and it frequently has a spicy kick from the addition of other spices like mustard seeds and red chilli powder. Pickling spices, like fenugreek and mustard seeds, combine to create an aromatic and pungent flavour. The vegetables are infused with strong, unique flavours by the spices. Pickling prolongs the shelf life of vegetables by acting as a preservation technique. This makes it possible for people to take advantage of the health benefits of veggies even in non-growing seasons.
4. Karonde Pickle: Karonda, also spelled karunde, pickles are well-known for its unique sour and tangy flavour. The pickling process brings out the natural tartness of the small, berry-like fruits. A range of spices is frequently used in pickles in North Indian cuisine, and karonda achar is no different. To add flavour and aroma, it usually contains spices like asafoetida, nigella seeds (kalonji), fenugreek seeds, and mustard seeds. A hint of sweetness can be added to certain karonda pickle varieties by adding sugar or jaggery. This sweet component counteracts the sourness. Karanda pickles can have a slightly crunchy texture, which contrasts well with the softness of the berries, depending on how they are prepared.
5. Lemon Pickle: Nimbu ka Achaar, or North Indian Lemon Pickle, is a well-liked condiment that gives food a flavour boost. The pickle gets its zesty, refreshing flavour from the strong tangy and sour taste of lemons. Thanks to a combination of aromatic spices like mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, red chilli powder, and occasionally mustard oil, North Indian Lemon Pickle is widely recognised for its fiery kick. The umami profile of the pickle is enhanced by the slightly bitter and nutty flavour that fenugreek seeds add. A complex and flavorful spice blend that lingers on the palate is produced by combining different spices.
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6. Turnip Pickle: Known as "Shalgam Ka Achar" in North Indian cooking, turnip pickle offers a delicious combination of flavours that give food a zesty and savoury touch. The mix of spices used during the pickling process affects the flavour. The use of acidic ingredients such as vinegar, lemon juice, or fermented brine gives turnip pickles a distinct tanginess. The taste profile is improved overall by the sourness. Turnip pickle is one of the strong, spicy North Indian pickles that is well-known for its flavour. Fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, and other spices add heat and pungency. To add umami and depth to North Indian pickles, such as turnip pickles, asafoetida (hing) is frequently used. It brings out the pickle's overall savoury notes.