11 not so aam achaars

by Sanjeev Kapoor

Pickling is a labor of love - it’s about age old recipes and nostalgia, getting your hands dirty and your taste buds tingling. We definitely belong to that group of fanatics that are willing to pickle just about anything. Check out this bunch of tried and tested recipes that are testimony to our love for pickles and of all things unusual. You will be thanking us later.

Love apples

If there is any recipe that uses the tart sweetness of an apple to perfection, this is it! Chunks of sun dried apples infused with the fabulous flavours of a pickle masala add more to each meal than you can imagine. Make a large batch of this sweet spicy goodness as it easily doubles up as a relish that lasts for months together. 

Prawn in a jar

Seafood lovers are in for a treat with this spicy vinegar based prawn pickle that just keeps getting better with time. Pungent and tangy it makes you reminiscence of the sea in each bite – serve it up with a big mound of boiled rice and yogurt or good old prawn curry. You can always trust the Goans to do things in style can’t you? 

Funky fungi

We love pickling so much we are willing to pickle just about anything – even mushrooms. Tender quartered button mushrooms set ablaze in a fiery chatpata achaari masala - this recipe is quite a revelation in both the world of mushrooms and of pickles. Sure to get you abundance of praise. 

Magic mutton

You are probably used to eating mutton in a delectable biryani or a robust curry, but this version of it will make you forget every other way you have tried it before. Bite sized pieces of pressure cooked and deep fried mutton tossed in a red chilli and vinegar based masala – it steals the show at every meal it accompanies. 

Achaar for your waist

A welcome change from pickles laden with oil, this low calorie one is ideal for weight watchers who like a spice kick in their food. Grated carrots sautéed in just a spoonful of oil mixed with dried red chilli paste, mustard, asafoetida, fenugreek seeds and a good squeeze of lemon – it gives you a classic pickle experience but minus the grease.

Aam aur khaas

This aam aur karela ka achaar is great way not only to tweak up a boring aam ka achaar but also to sneak in a good dose of karela into your meal. A handful of kabuli chana added to it, provides so much texture and the use of olive oil instead of the usual pungent mustard, balances out any bitterness from the karela – this one is really a well thought out and not your ordinary aam ka achaar – just like we promised. 

Lotus eaters pickle

The next time you lay your hands on lotus stems; don’t make a dull sabzi out of it. Instead preserve it in this lovely achaar recipe and spruce up even the most ordinary meals to extraordinary levels. Onion, fennel and mustard seeds give a beautiful flavour to otherwise bland lotus stems keeping their brilliant crunch intact. 

Deserves a drum roll

Your culinary encounter with drumsticks has probably just been limited to a South Indian sambhar, but not anymore. This juicy green vegetable works brilliantly tossed up in some mustard oil with mustard seeds, fenugreek, red chilli paste, garlic and some tangy tamarind pulp. Get ready to beat the drums of your culinary awesomeness.

M & M’s

Nope, not the colorful pop in your mouth chocolates, but the M & M in this stands for an unusual and delicious combination of melons and mustard – pickled together! Honey dew melons cooked in a syrupy mixture of sugar, white wine, ginger and mustard gives you a sweet, juicy, tangy and pungent fruity pickle - pretty much like summer in a jar. 

Thali ka ‘chatpata’ baingan

Soft and mushy, sweet and tangy – eating this brinjal pickle is like a ‘good boy’ treat to your taste buds. The sponge like quality of the vegetable totally soaks up all the flavours from the other ingredients and gives you an achaar that hits all the right spots in all the right ways every single time. 

Non vegetarian zone ahead

If you turn up your nose at a vegetarian meal and find life a waste without a good helping of some meaty deliciousness in your food, then this recipe is your saving grace. Spicy, meaty and full of flavour – a small portion of this chicken spice bomb will please you more than a large leg of grilled chicken ever could!

With these brilliant out of the box pickling recipes you are never going to have a boring meal ever again. So what are you waiting for? It’s time for some pickle therapy!

Recommended Recipes :

Apple Pickle

Mushroom Pickle

Kolmi Nu Khattu Mitthu Achaar

Mutton Pickle

Low Calorie Carrot Pickle

Aam aur Karele ka Achaar

Drumstick Pickle

Melon And Mustard Pickle

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.