Pickles are a type of preserved foods highly popular in India both in the south and north. While pickle refers to the class of food items prepared in the particular way, there are several varieties we find under this category. Almost most of the vegetables we use for cooking can be pickled. The principal ingredients in pickling are salt, chillies, tamarind, vinegar and oil. However, the different kinds of preparations employ them differently and in different combinations to achieve the desired variety of pickle. Generally Indians love pickles and use them alongside the main course dish to achieve a spicy touch. Some of the most popular pickles include lemon, mango, gooseberry, ginger, garlic, onion, mixed vegetables and many others. In fact, through the right procedure, anything can be pickled not excluding fruits and meat too. Mango pickles come in wide variety and are enjoyed throughout India.
We might say pickling is a kind of fermentation. The population of healthy bacteria helps preserve the pickle for a long time without spoil. When the vegetables and fruits are fermented, the healthy bacteria in them help break down the cellulose and complex sugars that are hard to digest. Therefore one of the greatest advantages of pickles is the probiotic bacteria you find in them which help increase the population of good bacteria in your gut. Also, the antioxidant power of the vegetables or fruits that are pickled are preserved so that you reap this additional benefit from pickles. Some studies have shown that the class of food items preserved by salting has anti-cancerous properties. Therefore, we can say pickles have some inimitable health advantages.
The tradition of making pickles is very long in the Indian history. While pickles are desired primarily for their spicy taste, we too have some health advantages discussed above. Some of the downsides to using pickles in food include the concerns arising from the preservatives including salt and oil. Though this is a valid note of caution, using pickles in moderate quantities is certainly going to add spice and flavor to the meal we have. Note that while it is tough to eat highly beneficial vegetables like amla in their raw form, pickling makes them easy to consume. Therefore love pickles without any reservations and use them in moderation for taste and health.
Nowadays, a lot of websites have come detailing recipes and ingredients of these pickles. You can learn how to make pickles online quite easily. With practice, you can even become an expert in making various kinds of pickles and delight your family members and even friends.