An Indian meal is incomplete without a pickle. Indian pickles or ‘achaar’ are something which brings the taste and flavour to any type of meal. There are many pickle recipes which instantly take me back to my childhood days. My mom used to make mango and green chilli pickle in summers and carrot and cauliflower pickle in winters.
Homemade ones are always better than the packaged ones. The packaged ones are full of preservatives, too many spices and of course trans fats because of unhealthy oils in them. When you make them at home, you can tweak a normal pickle recipe to create your own healthy version of the pickle.
Here are few ways to make your pickles healthy –
- Make the instant ones. Instant pickles are easy to make, ready in a jiffy and healthy too. You have to use them within a few days but the good thing is that they don’t have any harmful preserving ingredients.
- Use preserving agents like lemon, salt and pure vinegar (not the synthetic one) to preserve fresh and seasonal vegetables. Outside pickles have preserving agents like synthetic vinegar, oils, and citric acid etc. Try to use organic and fresh products to create a healthier version of your favourite pickle.
- It’s a great way to preserve seasonal vegetables throughout the year. These are actually good for your gut health if you preserve them properly at home with healthy oils and whole spices.
- Normally pickles have oils with trans fats. You can use mustard oil with fresh whole spices if you want to preserve seasonal vegetables and for a longer shelf life.
- Healthier ones might taste different but you can have them without worrying about your health. Reduce salt and oil content in homemade ones as these are the two ingredients which are very high in pickles.
I am sharing a simple instant pickle recipe which is a staple in our house. I learnt it from my mom and she used to make it regularly at home and remember taking it to my hostel to bring some taste and flavour to otherwise bland hostel food.
It is ready in a jiffy but you have to use it within a few days too as we are not using any strong preserving agents. So, it’s better to make small quantities at one go.
Instant pickle recipe – Green chilli and ginger pickle
- Green chilli – 100 gms
- Ginger – 50 gms
- Lemon – 1-2
- Salt – According to taste
- Jar to store pickle
- Wash and slit green chillies into two from the center.
- Peel wash and cut ginger into thin slices.
- Take a pickle jar and add both in the jar.
- Now add salt according to taste and squeeze 1 lemon. You can increase lemon quantity depending on how sour you want it.
- Close the lid and shake it nicely.
- Keep it aside at a cool place for at least 12 hours before using it.
- Enjoy it with any meal.
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