Pickling is the process of preserving the certain food items with a mixture of spices, oil and few other ingredients which enhances the taste, flavour, colour and texture of that particular food item. The main ingredients used in preparing the pickles are salt and gingerly oil, which also acts as a best preservative. Another important preservative used in preparing pickle is Sunlight. The more exposure of sunlight on the pickle increases its shelf life. This is the reason, most of the pickles are prepared in summer and they are stored in for the next year to come. The pickles are usually kept in a container with an air trap or an air tight.
Pickles are mainly made from varieties of mango, lemon, goongura (a sour leafy shrub), tamarind and Indian gooseberry (amla), chilli. These fruits and vegetables are generally mixed with ingredients like salt, spices, and vegetable oils and are set to mature in moisture less medium. It doesn’t involve much cooking other than heating the oil.
Whereas, thokku calls for some detailed sautéing work to be done, and are generally made with herbs like mint, tomatoes, coriander leaves, or curry leaves etc. Oil is added, and the required ingredient is sauteed till it shrinks and is almost completely devoid of moisture along with chillies and tamarind (most of the thokku call for those two ingredients). And it is ground into a fine or coarse paste with very less water if possible. The lesser the water added, the more the shelf life is. Also the shelf life is more if oil is used more.
The Indian pickles have a wide range of flavors and textures. Sometimes Indian families have their own unique pickle and chutney recipes that are handed-down through the generations. The quality of the pickle depends on the quality of the oil. Sesame oil is considered as number one oil for preparing pickles. Sesame oil contains sesamol and sesamin which acts as a natural preservative.
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