The Secrets Behind Indian Pickles: A Cooking Class in a Family Home in Delhi

Indian Pickles are a staple of Indian meals across the country. However, they vary greatly from home to home, and from region to region. Ask any Indian what their favourite pickle is and it’s sure to be something their mother or grandmother makes. Pickles can be sweet, spicy, salty and sour. Wherever we are on a tour of India we ask to try the local pickles – especially home made ones in Indian homestays or the speciality varieties that some boutique hotels make.

Recently we went for a cooking demonstration in Delhi in the home of an Indian family and asked specifically to learn the tips to making Indian pickles. Most of the recipes weren’t that complicated, which increases the chance of us actually trying to make them at home! But best of all – we got to try them all. Our host served all the pickles we learnt (and more!) with snacks and drinks after the cooking demonstration. Not only was it a great opportunity to improve our culinary skills and try some new dishes, but also having a cooking class in someone’s home was a personalised experience that not all tours of India offer. We loved sitting around chatting with our host after the class – in fact we stayed a long while and tried many other foods that weren’t part of the class. It wasn’t just a cooking class but the chance to interact with Indian people through a common interest.

Some of the Indian chutneys and pickles we learnt to make during our cooking class in India include – imli chutney (tamarind chutney), mango chutney, tomato and onion chutney, as well as green cilantro and mint chutney. Afterwards we tried them in various dishes including fried idli and papid chaat.

A cooking class in a family home can be included in many parts of India as a themed activity, or day tour, in a custom made journey. For foodies, we can build a longer themed journey around food.

Indian pickles, is a common condiment in Indian cooking. Depending on the ingredients and spices used in the production, Indian pickles can be either sweet and mild or spicy and scorching. In India, pickles are a staple food and are frequently served with rice, naan, or curries as a side dish or condiment.
We arranged the cooking class based on the guests’ preferences and areas of interest.

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