Pickling of plant and animal foods is a relatively old method of food preservation. Pickling dates back to the ancient times and is most commonly used even today. While there are many different types of pickles, some characteristics are common to all. Pickles can actually be made using all kinds of foods such as onions, peppers, olives, pears, peaches, and even fish and meat.

Acetic acid (vinegar) is the primary ingredient used in pickle manufacturing. After water, it makes up the bulk of the pickle liquor and contributes significantly to the flavor of the pickle giving it a sour taste. Sugar is used to provide a sweetness to offset the sour taste of the vinegar. It also helps to make pickles more plump and firm. Salt is added for flavor and it also has an added preservative effect. While vinegar, sugar, and salt make up the bulk of all pickle liquors, it is the various spices and herbs that differentiate between pickle types.

Now that’s a lot of talking done on pickling, let’s get to look at some of the pickle recipes……



Dates Pickle

Dates Pickle

This pickle is a perfect accompaniment for Biriyani. I believe this dish belongs to the Malabar cuisine as it is served in all the Malabar weddings. 

I tasted this pickle several years ago at my friend’s wedding and it tasted so unbelievably good. The sweetness of the dates, spiciness from the green chilies and the tanginess from the tamarind; all these flavors will dance in your mouth and will tickle your taste bud. It’s finger licking good…….

View this recipe here.




Tomato chutney

This is an amazing chutney, a blend of sweet, spice and tanginess of tomatoes. It is a perfect accompaniment for South Indian breakfast options like Idli and Dosa. You can try it with flat breads also. This recipe can be made in many ways, with or without onions, chilli powder or red chillies.

View recipe.




Coconut chutney

Coconut chutney is a perfect accompaniment with idlis, dosas, upmas and many other South Indian dishes. I don’t think there is any South Indian household that misses chutney even a day. To make chutney all you have to do is blend some fresh grated coconut with ginger, chillies and onion and add tempered mustard to it. Some variations of chutney can be obtained by adding roasted dals, tamarind paste, curry leaves, cumin etc. You can refrigerate chutneys and use it up to 3 days but they always taste best when freshly prepared.

Here is a simple chutney preparation…..