Achar, for most of us, is more than just a spicy condiment. It is a lasting memory of the carefree holidays of childhood. The very thought of those big ceramic jars on the terrace, filled with fresh pickles, takes us back to the vacations spent at ‘nani ghar’. This is exactly why our elders say, you need a good dose of love and care, along with other ingredients, to make a perfect bowl of achar. In India, the art of pickling (read: making perfect achar) is a tradition passed on through generations. You would find different types of pickles with unique flavour profiles, varying from place to place. Some like their pickles spicy, while some enjoy them sweet. And then there are people, who prefer a balanced flavour profile with an equal amount of saltiness, sweetness and tanginess. Whatsoever, pickle remains a household staple, sprucing up our meals since time immemorial.
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Today, we would easily find packaged achar at every grocery store nearby. While these store-bought pickles undoubtedly taste good, nothing beats the flavours of the homemade ones. Moreover, they are preservative-free as well. Now, if you are planning to make some achar at home, then we suggest to keep this article handy. Here, we will take you through some of the common mistakes people do while making achar. Avoiding these mistakes will not only make the process easy but also help you create grandmom-style achar without much struggle.
Here Are 5 Mistakes To Avoid While Making Achar:
While cooking is associated with art, pickling has some science to it. It is basically soaking foods in an acidic liquid to achieve a sour flavour. The sourness in the food is an outcome of the fermentation process – a chemical reaction between the sugar present in the ingredients and natural bacteria. The art of pickling dates back thousands of years. Let’s look into some common mistakes we do while making achar.
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1. Not choosing fresh ingredients:
You can make achar out of different types of fruits and vegetables. Just make sure, they are clean and fresh. Using low-quality ingredients can majorly affect the taste, texture and process of fermentation.
2. Using too much sour agent:
While adding vinegar or lemon juice is important while preparing achar, you also need to keep the amount in mind. Using too much souring agent can lead to an unpleasant taste and make the achar runny. Always remember, too much of anything is bad!
3. Not using enough oil:
Achar is not a space to control the use of oil. In fact, it is very important to add enough amount of oil (specifically mustard oil) to the recipe for pickling the ingredients well. Moreover, adding less amount of oil makes the achar unappetising.
4. Not allowing it to set well:
As mentioned earlier, love and care are equally important in an achar-making process. People are often in hurry, not allowing the achar to set or marinate well. This not only ruins the taste but also decreases its shelf life.
5. Not using clean and dry containers:
The container plays an equally important role in the process. Make sure you use a clean and sterilised jar to set the achar. And yes, always pat it dry before pouring the ingredients.
Learn these tips by heart and make perfect achar at home in the very first go. Click here for some delicious homemade achar recipes.
Happy pickling, everyone!