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History and tradition of pickles in Indian cuisine

 Many of our cherished memories of childhood are replete with occasions of helping grandma with her pickle preparation or taking the ceramic jars of pickles to the open terrace for letting them seasoned under the sun.  But, how many of us know how this spicy marinade seeped into Indian culinary tradition?

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Pickles have been around for thousands of years, dating as far back as 2030 BC when cucumbers from their native India were pickled in the Tigris Valley. The word pickle comes from the Dutch pekel or northern German pókel, meaning salt or brine, two very important components in the pickling process. Throughout history, pickling was a necessity, as it was the best way to preserve food for a long period of time. As one of the earliest mobile foods, pickles filled the stomachs of hungry sailors and travellers, while also providing families an extra vegetable in plate.

Benefit of Pickles

  • Pickles that are seasoned with salt, help in the growth of probiotic bacteria in your gut, therefore consuming pickles with food aid in better digestion.
  • Since pickles are made by preserving raw fruits or vegetables, the anti-oxidant properties of these ingredients are also preserved in the marinade. Anti-oxidants help in fighting against the free radicals that can cause various ailments.
  • Studies show pickles boost our central nervous system and our mental health in general.
  • It is also a great way to give your children the nutrition they require from fruits and vegetables that they may not eat otherwise.
  • The fibre content of the fruits and vegetables are also retained if they are pickled.
  • Pickles improve immunity in children and prevent them from common cold and flu.
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