Tuesday, May 29, 2012

An Ode to Pickle

Mood: Aggravated. I hate when stuff disappears
Listening to: Deewane Dil Ko Jaane Na – Alka Yagnik and Sonu Nigam

My western audience (I know, laugh it up, but leave me to my delusions of having an audience) may be thinking that I am talking about pickles. The green cucumber sticks brined in dill, spices and salt for a while. While I do like the occasional pickle, this is not what I’m referring to.

What I’m talkin about is Indian pickle. It’s made up of a vegetable (my favorites are green mango and tomato, but not together), a metric ton of salt and chili powder, oil and a few spices.  It is a red chunky paste that looks like this in a bottle, since I couldn't find any on a plate:

Priya isn’t the only brand, but it’s one I like. For a western palate, pickle takes quite some getting used to. I had my first taste back when Daddy G and I were dating and I hated it. Slowly over the years, I have become a huge fan of pickle.  If you want to try it, go very, very slowly.

Mostly, I eat pickle with upma. Upma is cream of wheat cooked with carrots, peas, a few spices and cashews, if you’re kinky like that.  I could quite possibly eat upma and pickle every single day. Not every meal, but still. My housekeeper makes it and she nails it every time.

I dump so much of that stuff in my upma, I’ve been asked by more than one Indian:

“Um… do you know what that is? You do. Okay. Are you sure you wanted that much? You are. Um, can I get you an antacid?”

No thanks, I’m enjoying. And I’ve never gotten indigestion from pickle either. All that salt and chili kills any errant bacteria.


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