If you happen to follow Rujuta Diwekar, Kareena Kapoor’s celebrity nutritionist, you already know that ghee, white rice and milk are all good for your weight loss goals. But on a live Facebook chat with new mommy Kareena yesterday, Rujuta said in one breath, “Do not skip your dahi, chaach and achaar,” and left many wondering how the spicy and oily achaar made it to the list, since it is among the first things you stop stocking in your kitchen the moment you go on a diet. While the downside is clearly the high sodium and high oil content in pickles that are generously added during its preparation, if had in moderation, it has more benefits than harm.
Since there is no heat involved in the preparation of pickles, they also preserve the nutrition of vegetables. Moreover, vinegar in the pickles aids body’s metabolism. Having said that, readymade pickles that you pick from stores are not really ideal. But if you opt for homemade pickles, you can clearly control the oil as well as the spices. There are a variety of pickles that can be made using seasonal vegetables and fruits.
If you think that homemade pickles are a big deal, they really are not. Remember the water-based pickle that your grannies used to prepare during winter months? Black carrots and vegetables along with fresh green garlic, mustard seeds, kalonji and few other ingredients made for the perfect tangy accompaniment for your meals or just as a noon time snack. Alternatively, you could prepare a quick lemon pickle too. Pressure cook lemons with water and once the skin of lemon gets softened, cut them in pieces and add lemon juice. Add salt and turmeric powder and leave for some time. Now add castor sugar while stirring it until it is dissolved. In the end, add chilli powder and mix. Store in a glass bottle. These may not last as long as the pickles you get in supermarkets, but are surely healthy and can be eaten without guilt.
It’s time to ‘pickle’ up!