Pickling is an amazing way of preserving food. However, pickles which is supposed to be eaten in minimum quantities as a side dish, has gained prominence in the Malayali platter. Most pickles are perfect combination of saltiness, sourness and spiciness which creates a flavor riot on our taste buds.
From tender mangoes cured in brine to dried meat pickle, Keralites consume significant amount of pickle daily. They are great preserves, and gastronomic experts say that fruits or vegetables which have natural sourness are perfect to be pickled and stored.
Bitter gourd, gooseberries, dates, fish and prawns too are used widely to make pickles. The pickles which are prepared during the summer would be reserved until the monsoon season to be eaten along with almost all the dishes including rice and boiled tapioca.
Mango is the most common fruit which is pickled in a number of ways. From the tender mango pickle and kadumanga (tempered mango pickle) to the special adamanga (pickle made with mango pieces which are marinated with salt and chili and dried in the sun), the Kerala menu is filled with quite a lot of mango pickle. Tasty and spicy pickle can also be made with different types of lemons, hog plum (ambazhanga), bilimbi, shatavari, banana blossom, beetroot and rose apples. Instead of coconut oil, sesame oil is mostly used in pickles to seal off air, thereby preventing it from turning rancid with an unpleasant smell.
Though pickles taste delicious with rice and other dishes, health experts warn that over consumption of pickle may lead to severe health issues. Salt, vinegar and oil are added generously in pickles to enhance the taste, and also to preserve it. It could increase the cholesterol levels which may result in heart ailments.
Studies reveal that the sour, salt and vinegar added in the tinned pickles, which are readily available in the supermarkets, may undergo some chemical reactions and produce toxins. This leads to serious illness which may even prove fatal.
Can ulcer patients eat pickle?
Pickles can surely worsen the ulcers, making it painful and uncomfortable, reveal studies. Consuming pickle at night would cause acidity. Besides, eating pickle as a side dish for every meal would result in stomach aches, heart burns and other gastric problems. The spicy pickle rapidly increases the production of acids in the stomach.
Consuming too much salt makes the kidney work more. So those with kidney ailments should strictly avoid eating pickles. It would also lead to high blood pressure and heart diseases.