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011: What is Achaar? (Pickle Series #4)

Updated: Apr 3, 2022

Generations of inherited knowledge packed into a bottle.

Childhood memories.

School lunch boxes.

Snatches of gossip exchanged on a sun-drenched terrace.

A space for women to claim as their own.

Intergenerational culinary pedagogy.

Your grandmother’s love.

A piece of your homeland.

The no-waste movement before it was a ‘thing’.

A vehicle to share your cultural ancestry with your friends.

The saviour of broke students the world over.

A companion for train journeys.

A concentrated burst of sourness, sweetness, spiciness, saltiness, bitterness

That bring life to even the most insipid food.

Precious flavour bombs revered with care.

This poem is dedicated to all the grandmothers, aunts and mothers who have the patience to make achaar, and the generosity to share their intensive labour in bottles with anyone who drops in at home.


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