Bengalis are undeniably hard-core gourmands. But unknown to many, Bengalis are also much in love with pickles that form an integral part of their winter meals. Drop-in at a Bengali home, and you are sure to be mesmerised by their unique and tantalising achaars made with fresh ingredients at home. These pickles are pretty different in flavour and taste from their North Indian counterparts. Here are some famous pickles that you would find in almost all traditional Bengali kitchens.

  • Kuler Achaar: A lip-smacking pickle made of kul or jujube grown in Bengal, kuler achaar is a famous pickle savoured with pujor khichdi and peas kachori. The berries have a titillating sweet and sour taste, which is enhanced by mixing sugar or jaggery. Even after you have had the outer layer of the berry, we bet you would not want to leave the seed till the remnants of sugar and sour coating have exhausted.
  • Tetuler Achaar: ‘Tak jhal mishti’- this pickle is one of the best hot, sour, and sweet pickle combinations. Tetuler achaar or tamarind pickle is one of the hot favourites with Bengalis. What makes this unique combination a big hit is the added masala made of roasted cumin and red chilli powder and sugar - a flavour that would make you crave more.
  • Kacha Aamer Achaar is another favourite among pickle lovers who love the tangy taste of mangoes. The Bengali kaancha Aamer achaar or raw mango pickle comes in sweet and sour flavours and must-have during the winter months. 
  • Lanka Achaar: Hot pickle lovers would vouch for the insatiable, mouth-watering taste of this Bengali green chilli pickle. A simple homemade recipe, this pickle is made with green chillies, roasted and powdered mustard and fenugreek seeds, lime and vinegar and can be made ready in minutes. Do not forget to mix the mixture in hot mustard oil, without which the flavour falls flat. Store in an air-tight glass jar to enjoy with dal and rice or khichdi.
  • Leber Achaar: This recipe is similar to the green chilli pickle. Leber achaar or lime pickle has a tangy, hot and sour flavour that tantalises your taste buds. Do not forget to add some pepper and turmeric for a flavoursome condiment.

Though not as popular as the north Indian pickles, Bengali pickles are one-of-their-kind recipes that tease taste buds and leave you wanting more. But, surprisingly, these might not have that very oily smell reminiscent of typical pickles from the rest of India.

Satarupa B Kaur has been writing professionally for a decade. Always on the go, she loves to travel, read books and enjoy playtime with her toddler as she explores new places and food.