With this drift from traditionality to modernity, a lot is fading away. What
if we ask you to casually count the things that have disappeared today, or, are on their way to wane? Take a pause and ponder over! Did you count the making of ‘achaar’ at homes? What was the last time you came across a granny, assembling and cutting the raw vegetables and then giving them a sunbath for hours on the terrace of her house? The art of pickling was in process. Here we bring to your attention the dying art of making achaar and why these traditionally preserved veggies are an important part of every Indian household. The taste of tang “Unfortunately, that art of making achaar at home is diminishing and is being taken over by the readymade pickles available in the market,” laments celebrity nutritionist Sarita Khurana in a telephonic conversation with DAILYlife. Sarita shares that taste of tang has always been an important part of Indian culinary, but the significance of eating achaar is more than that. “If I specifically talk about India, achaar is an incentive with the food.
However, why our mothers and grandmothers invested hours and hours in making achaar is not just about that taste of tang,” says Sarita. She continues, “Unlike the beliefs of today’s generation, in past people would eat achaar for it’s health benefits. From helping in digestion to providing numerous nutritional gains, achaar was indeed more than just a tasty accompaniment.” However, Sarita clarifies the achaar is healthy if only it is made traditionally. And most of those traditional techniques exist no more! “I remember my grandmother would add white chickpeas to her
achaar just to make it a combination of vitamins and iron. From choosing
the right spices to deciding their right quantity, making achaar was a blend
of art and science.” Where is the MARTBAN? During his recent visit to
Chandigarh, we asked food historian Ashish Chopra about the lost culinary
legacies of Punjab. “Martbans” was one of his answers. Ashish shares that there was a reason why achaar was kept in martbans, but he is upset about the fact that plastic or glass bottles have replaced those “beautiful barnis.” And, this is exactly what celebrity chef Kunal Kapur has to say about the bottled pickles. “You must have noticed that all bottled pickles available in the market taste the same. But, people are fine with eating even those worst tasting pickles just because they can’t make their own at home. If convenient life is dominating today, we are losing over innumerable and priceless traditional things…Traditional achaar making is
the one,” believes Kunal.
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