Aachar aka Pickle has been in existence since our forefather’s years and the ‘Best recipes’ are handed down generations. This is true of all families.

Our family never made pickles till the time my grandmother was alive and would make them lovingly and bring/cart them over from Valsad to wherever we lived.

As kids there was a limitation on eating pickles and it was ‘Eat your vegetables and you will get some’ which led to revolt and rebellion from my side.

We grew up, consumption decreased, married, moved away, but mother had taken over the pickle making. Unfortunately, the quantity did not decrease. Luckily, we had a lot of friends in the cities we lived, visited and many of them did not make pickles, or at least the Gujju variety.

Since, moving to Bombay there has been a constant debate between my wife and mother (ok ok maybe I was the reason of some arguments too) primarily related to quantity (this was resolved in the lime pickle when my nephews started eating and we could couriers it to them in the US. Yep, remember we are Gujju, we can courier anything, anywhere) But the mango with oil, without oil (thanks to health concious advisors and Tarlaben) remained a challenge.

I loved the minimum oil one, but it had to be kept in the fridge and I did not like the taste (If I wanted to eat stuff from the fridge, would have migrated long ago) whereas the one with oil always had a problem — mango was not right or the masala was not right affecting the pickle.

But, the quantity continued… And hence my friends loved it. This time around, I decided to share the booty with some selected people from Twitter. Announced it and 14 jars were snapped up in seconds.

Then catastrophe stuck — minimum oil and hence cannot be kept for long outside, add to that, the muggy, humid weather of Bombay currently and people who had asked did not make effort to pick up for nearly a week (I am learning this the hard way) and nearly 8 jars went bad.

So, a new batch would be made over the weekend and given, probably to those who pick it up quickly. Because, in the famous words of Bhai “Mein ek baar commitment de deta hoon, toh apni bhi nahi sunta’

Do you have an aachaar story?

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Written by AD
ex waiter, angadia, travel agent, dotcomer, dukaandaar, marketeer, people watcher. appreciates single malt, food, friends