Preserving pickles

Alisha Shinde
Thursday, 31 May 2018

To keep pickles fresh for long, here are a few steps you must follow

A lot of effort goes into pickle making so that they last an entire year. But there is always a slight possibility for the pickle to turn bad. Homemaker Sunita Desai shares some interesting tips on how to store pickle for a long time.  

Desai explains that to preserve any pickle it is important to add preservatives to it. “It can be salt, vinegar and oil depending on whatever you like.” She says that since India is a vast country with so many communities and regions that the taste of pickles varies from region to region. “However, sesame seed oil and mustard oil is a go to option for preserving Indian pickles,” she says.  

If you want to preserve the pickle for a longer period, you should use salt. “It unlocks the juices and steadily makes the flavour of the pickle even more concentrated, giving the vegetable / fruit a firm texture,” says Desai. 

She adds that other than what goes into the pickle it is important to understand what to store it in. “It has been an age-old practice to store pickles in Bone China jars or glass bottles not because they are fancy to look at but because there is a scientific reason behind it,” says Desai further mentioning that pickles should never be stored in steel jars since the pickle will go bad from the heat created within the jar.

“Before putting the pickle in the jar, make sure you wash the jars nicely and dry them well in the sun,” she says adding that it will make the pickle stay fresh and last long.  

Desai further adds that it is best to add warm oil with a bit of mustard seeds all throughout the year whenever the oil level in the pickle visibly goes down. “This practice keeps the pickle fresh and retains its original taste over several days,” she says. 

The tradition of using oil in preserving pickles is because it seals off the exposure to air and cuts off the supply of oxygen which encourages the spread of bacteria. “It is important to stir the pickle once in a day and also keep it in the sun,” she says. By doing so you merely increase the shelf-life of the pickle.

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