Achar or Pickles
Achar is just an Indian word meaning pickle. But the Indian achars are not anything like those American pickles you find on hamburgers. Indian achars are usually packed in oil, as opposed to American pickles which are packed in vinegar. Indian achars are usually hot and spicy. Indian achars usually come in bottles are cans.
The first achars I saw were on the menu of an Indian restaurant on 12th Street and Camelback in Phoenix. The menu said something like “these are dangerously hot and you should even try them unless you like incredibly hot food.” Of course that is why I tried them.
You wouldn’t eat a meal of just achars, just like you usually wouldn’t eat a full meal of just American pickles. You usually eat achars with something else.
There are hundreds of different achars, but the ones I buy are Achar Pachar which means 5 pickles. It contains pickled mangos, limes, ginger, lotus blossoms and a few other things that I am clueless to what they are.
They are very hot and tasty. When I give them to other people that like very hot stuff the only complaint I get from some people is that they are too salty.
This brand of achar is very odd, because when I remove it from the can it comes in and place it in a glass bottle for storage the oil will literally slowly seep thru the glass walls of the container.
If you buy achars in a can you should always remove them from the can and store them in something else. I was told once you open the can the oxygen in the air will react with the metal can and the achars causing them to spoil.
Friends don’t let friends buy spices at American grocery stores!
Mike’s Hot Spicy Food Recipes