Pickle is an integral part of Indian cuisine. There are so many varieties of this spicy preserve that it will probably take a life time to taste all. Each region has its own flavors and combination. Indian pickles are very different from anything I have eaten in the West. We have basically two kinds of preserves, one is oil based and can be preserved for many years and the other in brine. The brine is usually created by adding salt, by doing so the veggies release their own juices, creating a brine solution. Most of the oil pickles do not need refrigeration and can only be used 4-6 weeks after you make them. The brine pickle can be used in a week or so, unless it is lime or lemon, it takes longer for the peel to get softer and get rid of the bitterness. This pickle will be ready in 2-3 weeks and it stays good for a year, provided you do not use a wet spoon and take care to keep it dry.
I remember my childhood, when mom made pickles utmost care was taken to pick the best mangoes and wash them and then wipe them. We were not allowed to touch the big pickle jar and mother would always transfer the pickle to a smaller jar for day to day use. We had to make sure, we do not use a wet spoon or touch with bare hands. There were strict pickle protocol, in fact whenever a jar of pickle went bad I was the prime suspect…since I had been caught putting my hand in the jar, multiple times. Pickle would often be kept in the sun to quicken the fermentation process with solar heat. I have always loved the tangy and spicy mango pickle. Since mango is not in season and cranberries are equally tangy I thought of making cranberry pickle in oil. It took me less then an hour to make a small jar of pickle. Wonder what has held me for so many years. I think this is a great Thanksgiving idea.
Every month, Ilva, Sophia and myself, get together and do a post with a similar theme. this month we picked preserves and I just had to do an Indian pickle. Hope you like our posts :)