Food

In a pickle

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Not content with mangoes, Parul Bhatt also pickles carrots, cauliflower and capsicum

Parul Bhatt was probably the only person in Chennai who was upset when it drizzled recently. “I had just placed all my pickles on the terrace to dry,” she says, adding, “March to June is my favourite season as I get the best quality mangoes then and can make many batches.”

Bhatt launched her traditional Gujarati pickles three years ago. “I grew up in Ahmedabad and came to Chennai after marriage. My mom would send me a variety of Gujarati pickles, as we Gujaratis are passionate about our pickles. After some years I started pickling, having learnt all the tricks and nuances from my mom.”

 

Four years ago, Bhatt began bottling chunda, methia keri and gor keri pickles and distributing it to friends. Based on their feedback, she modified the recipes and by the next year, she was selling her pickles under the brand Parul’s Magic.

Having lived in Chennai, Bhatt says she has developed a taste for vadu manga of Tamil Nadu and aavakai of Andhra. “But for me and many from my community, traditional Gujarati pickles are a must have. I decided to sell my pickles as there were not many options in the city,”

In a pickle

Chunda, a sweet, spicy and slightly sour pickle, is her best seller, courtesey handpicked mangoes from Andhra that are grated, sun dried and allowed to ferment naturally. Another popular one is the sweet and sour methia keri, a mango pickle wherein fenugreek is powdered with mustard and coriander seeds, and to which chilli powder is added. Gor keri pickle, yet another mango jaggery combination, tastes better when it is allowed to mature for a few months.

Once Bhatt standardised her Gujarati pickles, she started experimenting with other vegetables. She uses tamarind and tomato paste for pickling capsicum. She also attempted a Punjabi pickle with channa methi and mango. “Recently I made ginger and garlic pickle, with a hint of mango. Some of my customers told me that they used this pickle to marinate paneer, vegetables and meat,” says Bhatt.

In a pickle

“When it comes to pickling, I always go by seasonal vegetables. I make carrot and cauliflower pickles during September to December. Similarly, I source green chilli from Bhavnagar in Gujarat during November and December. For amla, the best time is from November to January. Needless to say, April to June is when you get best quality mangoes,” Bhatt says.

Parul’s Magic is available at the Nilgiris outlet in Neelangarai and at her office in CIT Colony, Mylapore. For details, call 9841014925.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 7:55:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/gujarathi-pickles-avaialble-in-chennai/article24201180.ece

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