Love for Banarasi Red Chili Pickle
Banarasi Red Chili Pickle or Banaras ka Bharva Laal Mirch Achar is one of the most famous pickles in the world. Legendary Red Chili native to Banaras is huge in size, particularly used to make pickles. People are known to take this pickle, if not export it to different parts of the world. Many pickle makers and small time pickle makers run a thriving business in the streets of Banaras. People are addicted to its taste and are known to serve one large pickled red chilli with every meal across India.
My dad gets Red Chili sourced directly from Banaras so that my mom can pickle it for our family. The recipe and knowledge of pickling have been passed on from generation to generation, from my great grand parents to grandma and from my grandma to my mom. I remember helping my grandma, in my childhood, stuffing these extremely hot red chilies and then crying after touching my face with unwashed hands. The aroma of the masala mixed with mustard oil can make anyone's mouth water. The stuffing contains a mix of exotic Indian spices like Amchoor, Fennel seeds, Ajwain seeds, Kalonji seeds & Fenugreek seeds. The trick to make the perfect pickle starts from choosing the right chili. Red chilies which are lightweight are chosen rather than the dense ones. Later the seeds of the chilies are removed by making a long cut on the chili. Masala mixed with mustard oil is stuffed using the sticks of neem plant for that little additional flavour. Stuffed chili is then pickled in mustard oil and kept aside. After a few days the red chili soaks up the flavours of different spices and this is when it gets ready to eat.
These pickles are used in so many recipes and eaten in so many ways. Here is a list of 7 most popular ways the Banarasi Red Chili Pickle is used:
1. To flavour Daal Tadka & Jeera Rice
2. Chopped pieces of pickle is used in Sattu Paratha stuffing or to flavour Roti
3. Eating with Thekua, famous dish from Uttar Pradesh & Bihar
4. Eating with Roti Sabzi during the meal
5. To spike an egg salad sandwich
6. Pieces of pickle with mustard oil mixed with mashed potato to make chokha to go with litthi
7. Mixing the pickle with hung curd to create a tasty savoury dip
Uses of this extremely versatile pickle is not limited to the listed ones above. It is extensively used by the everyone to flavour anything that they wish to eat. The love for Banarasi Lal Mircha Achaar is alive since eternity and is passed on from one generation to the next. People may come and go, but the pickle stays forever in the heart of billions.