A wide variety of exotic pickles (Achars) are used as a condiment along with Indian dishes. Achars are made from vegetables, fruits, meat and fish. These ingredients are cut into small pieces and cooked in edible oils like sesame oil with many different Indian spices like asafetida, red chili powder, turmeric, fenugreek and salt.
Most common Indian achars include mango, lime, cauliflower, carrot, radish, tomato, onion, pumpkin, palm heart, lotus stem, rose petals, ginger, gooseberry, garlic, green or red chili peppers, bitter melon, mushroom, eggplant, cucumber and turnip. Mixed vegetable achars are also popular in India.
Meat and fish achars are popular in Southern India. Meat achar is made with beef, mutton or chicken. Fish achar uses wide variety of fishes including dry fish and prawns.
Homemade achars are superior than commercial achars. Commercial achars contains high concentration of salt, citric acid and benzoate to enhance preservation. Homemade achars are preserved in air-tight jars and uses salt, oil and spices as preservatives. Flavor of achars varies from one geographical area from another, because of the ingredients and preservation methods. You can use our Indian pickle recipes for making excellent homemade pickles.