In India, pickles (achars) are relished as a side in every meal. It is eaten with dal-rice, dal-roti, parathas & even with many breakfast dishes. They are made by putting fruit or vegetables in an airtight jar with salt, oil, vinegar and spices and letting it mellow in the sun. Vinegar-based pickling is a much faster process than fermentation pickling. Distilled White Vinegar: This is by far the most common choice for pickling. Vinegar is used in all sorts of food preservation methods. It has a few key properties that make it ideal at slowing or stopping food from spoiling for long periods. It is primarily the pH or acidity of vinegar that inhibits bacterial growth and this process is most commonly called pickling. Use cider or white vinegar of 5-percent acidity. Oil helps seal off the air (oxygen) and works better with Indian spices. By sealing off the oxygen supply, home-made pickles encourage good bacteria multiplication. A temperature of 20-25 degrees Celsius is ideal for fermentation, which is why pickles made at home are placed in jars which are then placed in the sun. In the North of Indian Mustard Oil is comonly used, while in South - sesame oil.
Indian cuisine is not only tasty but also very healthy. Herbs and spices have traditionally been used to treat diseases for thousands of years. They add flavor and nutrients to dishes without fat or calories. Vegetables, plant-based proteins, whole grains, milk and spices contain essential micro-nutrients and vitamins that produce antioxidants which are good for heart, blood pressure and diabetes.
Pickles are about vinegar and salt.
Heated vinegar mixed with fresh spices will assume their flavors as well as preserve pickled ingredients. It can be used to create wonderful salad dressing.