Pickle. The word resonates with outbursts of flavors. Indian pickles tell long stories and are loaded with a blend of spices that will tease your taste buds.
Pickles in India step beyond condiments. They are a part and parcel of everyday comfort food. A variety of fruits and vegetables are “pickled”. Often seasonal fruits and vegetables are made into “Achaar” or pickle to preserve them. I have spent many summer days guarding mango pickles up on the terrace. The large porcelain jars would be tied with a light breathable piece of cloth. They basked and seasoned in the hot summer sun which made them last for a year or more. We sat around the jars shooing off birds and bugs and every once in a while we would steal some of the pickles, lick it off the palms of our hands. The end of the winter brought in “Kul” or “Ber” (jujubes). The orangish round sour jujubes would be pickled into to sweet sticky “Kul er Achaar” with jaggery.