The Art of Himalayan Pickling


If you take a peep into any Himalayan kitchen, you will definitely notice bottles of ‘achar”, pickles of hot, sour and spicy ingredients all fermented to have a long shelf life, sometimes from 2 to 3 years. The process of making pickles in Himalayan culture is more like an art. It’s about turning ordinary vegetables, fruits and berries into little jars of treasures, often passed on from one household to another.



Here are 3 points important to understanding the Himalayan method of pickling.


1. Let it age


Age plays a very vital role in shelf life of the pickle jar itself. Salt and oil seems to be the best choice when it comes to fermenting peppers, carrots, mangoes and other berries for preservation. The time of aging would vary between months to year depending on the maturity and consistency the pickle is supposed to reach.


2. Let it spice up


Spices like fennel seeds, asafoetida, mustard and dry chilies are added to pickles with oil that add flavor. Fruits, vegetables and berries are first cut and dried. Often oil and salt are used as a base to mix these ingredients. These spices actually have proven to be of great health benefits. They act as probiotics which help in improving digestion.  So spicing is up is actually beneficial in Himalayan pickles.


3. Let it soak in the sun


Jars of “achar” are usually dried in the sun. Sometimes they are dried in the sun before fermentation and after fermentation. Taking them out in the sun is a very important process of pickling. Fermented pickles need to be in the sun for an important scientific reason. Putting them out in the sun actually prevents microorganisms from infesting the pickles. Sun helps in proper fermentation of the pickles in the jar, hence adding to the pickle’s longevity. Himalayan pickles are usually prepared during the dry seasons for this prime reason. Sun is a big prerequisite to pickling in this culture.  


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