Pickle making is always something I have associated with grandmum’s. I have always wanted to learn how to make the Methiya nu Achaar (Mango Pickle) and the Gajar Mewa nu Achaar (Carrot & Raisin Pickle) that we Parsis predominantly eat but when it is available so easily in Mumbai stores why bother, right?
However, now that I have moved back to NZ I don’t have access to a grandma who can make me some pickle, I can’t buy some from the local store and there’s no Parsi wedding that I will be invited to in the near future where I am likely to get to taste some.
With most of us around the world heading or already in lockdown thanks to all this COVID-19 nonsense, I thought now was the perfect time to spruce up my non-existent pickle making skills and productively occupy my day. I didn’t think through how trying to cook for two hours with two kids would quite work but that’s a story for another day!
It’s taken me some hunting to find a Carrot & Raisin Pickle recipe that worked for me. There is a great one in Bhicoo Maneckshaw’s book but I am too lazy to dry carrots for 3 days and I didn’t have half the ingredients it called for. The one I mostly went with was Firoza Printer’s version from the Parsis Exchange Recipes group on Facebook. I made my own tweaks to the recipe like increasing the spice and trying to weigh everything so that it’s not quite so much ‘andaaza’ but full credit to her post for inspiring me to try making this in the first place!
For the uninitiated, the Parsi Gajar Mewa nu Achaar (Carrot & Raisin Pickle) is traditionally served at the start of a Parsi wedding feast. Wedding guests sit in rows of tables with fresh banana leaves laid out on the table. The waiters then come with trays full of Sariya (sago popppadums) and bowls of the pickle. You’re meant to have the pickle either with some roti or the way I like to enjoy it is actually with the crispy Sariya.
The day I made the pickle we decided it was time to stop talking about COVID and find a reason to celebrate. So I also made Patra ni Machchi and some Gosht no pulao. The only thing missing was Lagan nu Custard which I was too pooped to make. Here’s hoping you all stay safe during these crazy times. Personally, I am spending these days trying to cook up as much Parsi food as I can and hopefully blog way more often!
As we Kiwi’s say, Kia Kaha (stay strong). And as we Parsis say, now is the time for Khavanu, Peevanu and Suvaanu