Almost all sorts of fruits vegetables found in south Asia are pickled in this manner, including pumpkins, palm hearts, lotus stems, mango slices, limes and rose petals, along with vegetables more conventionally pickled in the west. Some of the most popular pickles are lemon pickle, lime pickle, mixed pickle (with various vegetables such as cauliflower, carrot, and radish), mango pickle, onion pickle, and garlic pickle. Some pickles may even contain fish (typically Synodus spp.) as their main ingredient.
The choice of spices gives the Indian pickle its unique flavour. Most pickles are made in the summer and allowed to mature in the hot sun for at least three weeks before use. Pickles are generally stored in porcelain or glass jars with air-tight lids. The acidic nature of the marinade retards bacterial growth, while the oil acts as a preservative. Pickles can retain their freshness and flavour, so long as they do not come into contact with moisture. However, commercially made pickles use preservatives such as citric acid or sodium benzoate.
Indian pickles come in a wide variety of flavours -- a mango pickle from South India tastes very different from one made in North India. In the southern states, sesame (gingelly) oil is preferred, while mustard oil is more typically used in pickle-making in northern India. Andhra pickles and chutneys have a unique flavour and are popular among those who enjoy spicy foods.
Some Indian pickles may even contain fish (typically Synodus spp.) as their main ingredient. Such pickles serve as a flavour enhancer and are eaten typically in small pieces with the rest of the meal.
Achar (Hindi: अचार, Urdu: اچار, also written as "achaar" and often simply called "pickle" in English) is the Hindustani word for the variety of spicy pickled side dish or condiment popular in the Indian subcontinent, in Southeast Asia, and in many other areas among ethnically South Asian communities. A similar dish in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore is called acar, while Filipinos call it “achara”.
Pachchadi (పచడి) is the Telugu translation for pickle.There are a large variety of Andhra Pickles, it is customary that the typical Andhra meal is completed with curd and pickle. There are many varieties of typical Andhra pickles Some commonly prepared and famous household pickles are Avakaya Pachchadi (Mango Pickle),this is prepared with mango, mustard paste, chilly powder, turmeric, salt and mustard oil.By far this is the most popular pickle in Andhra. These pickles are prepared at home when the managoes are fully grown and are not ripe. The mango should be green with creamy pulp and should be sour in taste. The pulp should be harder. The preferred mango for pickle making is Collector variety that is grown in Andhra Pradesh.
Nimmakaya Pachchadi (Lemon Pickle), This is one more very popular variety, usually home made. Allam Pachchadi (Ginger Pickle). Usirikaya Pachchadi (Indian gooseberry). Yendu Mirapakaya Pachchadi (Dry Chilly Pickle). Chintapandu Pachchadi (Tamarind Pickle). Vellulli Pachchadi (Garlic pickle). Pachchimirapa pachchadi (Green Chilly Pickle). Karivepaku Pachchadi (Curry leaves pickle). Ullipaya Pachchadi (Onion Pickle). Tomato Pachchadi (Tomato pickle). Gongura pachadi This is one of the most delicious pickle specific to Andhra Pradesh, this is made out of a leafy vegetable. This vegetable contains good amount of Iron and hence is suggested for the ladies who suffer from Anaemia. There are many other pickles that are equally delicious than that are mentioned above in Andhra Paradesh. Oorugai (ஊறுகாயஂ) is the Tamil name for pickles. There are many indigenous varieties of pickles, some of the most popular ones being mangai urgai (mango pickle) and elimicha urgai (lime pickle). Some of the special pickles from Tamil Nadu include a tender mango pickle called 'maavadu'. Maavadu literally translates to “tender mango”. Maavadu is usually made early in the summer season when mangos are barely an inch long. The preservation process consists of uses castor oil which gives the pickle its unique taste. Maavadus are a local favourite served with yogurt rice or thayir sadam. Another interesting pickle from Tamil Nadu is narthangai, which is a citron preserved in salt. Unripe citrons are cut into spirals and stuffed with salt, which dries them out. This pickle stays fresh and unspoiled for a long time and is an accompaniment to sambhar rice.
This word has also been borrowed by other Indian languages to mean the same thing. However, these languages may have their own words for pickle. For instance, in Malayalam, each type of pickle is usually given its own name; such names include:
In Kannada, pickles are typically referred to uppinakayi (salt fruits/vegetables).
Lonache (Marathi:लोणचे) Marathi name for pickles. Popular varieties include Aamba Lonche (Mango pickle), Limbu Lonche(Lemon Pickle), Mirchi lonche (Green chilli pickle)
Athanu (અથાણું), is the Gujarati name for pickles. Some of the preparation and ingredients vary a little with regions in Gujarat. Raw mangoes, lemon, green chillies, gunda and kerda are commonly used as the key ingredients in pickles. Pickles commonly found in most households include:
In Gujrati, pickle is many times referred to as "athanah" or "athanu." This is the general term for any type of pickle including mango and lime. The type of pickle would be the adjective preceding the word "athanu." For example, mango pickle would be called "keri nu athanu"
In English usage, when referring to Indian cuisine, a mixed pickle consists of various pickled fruits and vegetables (invariably including chilli peppers) suspended in vegetable oil. Sometimes the terms refers to a specific mix in contrast to a pickle made with mostly one base vegetable or fruit. Mixed pickle is a commonly offered side dish in Indian restaurants in the west.