Summer nostalgia: For the love of pickles and ‘vadiyaalu’

Prapanchamanta bratukutamo ledo ani pressure lo unte, manavaalu prashantanga samvatsaraaniki saripada avakaaya, vadiyaalu pettu kuntunnaru. Nammakam ante ala undaali… (While the complete world is tensed whether or not we’ll stay or not, our persons are peacefully making ready avakaya and vadiyaalu to final the complete 12 months; that’s the manner religion must be)

This WhatsApp message from a counsellor buddy, with a coronary heart emoji was not solely a constructive one which lifts the spirits throughout lockdown; but additionally equals belief to the course of of making what’s a staple in Telugu households, avakaya, the pickle with uncooked mango, mustard powder, salt and purple chilli powder and oil for its principal elements.

Celebrated scene

The making of fiery avakaaya and crispy vadiyaalu is a typical and celebrated scene throughout Telugu households. These home made pickles and fritters are additionally shared amongst pals and relations. This 12 months, the making could have been affected by COVID-19 pandemic, however the course of of planning, making and preserving these accompaniments evoke a way of hope, heaps of smiles and recollections.

Positive relationship

Homemaker Padmaja Rao explains, “Women experience a positive relationship with these foods. Life is unpredictable; we do not know what happens to us the next minute but these foods are prepared with the best intention for the entire family and friends. One never says, ‘I don’t know whether I will live or not after two months, let me make the quantity less.’ This mental state and attitude evoke positivity.”

Vadiyalu being sun dried in the balcony

At Reiki guru Revathi Krishnamurthy’s home in Sainikpuri in Hyderabad, a three-year-old avakaya ready by Revathi’s (late) mom is a kitchen treasure. She says. “Avakaya brings recollections. Whenever we miss her, we eat the avakaya to really feel her presence.”

Pointing out a couple of advantages, Revathi says, “Women are pragmatic by custom and know the significance of preservation. These two wonderful meals are made in summer season however preserved to make life simple for the complete 12 months. They have sustained us on this lockdown and in monsoon one needn’t step out to purchase greens. There is nothing extra heavenly than consuming avakaya blended with sizzling rice and ghee, together with crispy vadiyaalu for an accompaniment. Even if friends drop in, one can serve a meal in a jiffy.”

Team effort

Besides holding the hope and spirits alive, the preparation of the pickle and crispies is a matter of status for the lady of the home. No lady is ever seen cribbing or complaining about making vadiyaalu or avakaaya. “That is because a woman never does it alone,” factors out chef Kunal Kapur, who narrates pickling tales on his Pickle Nation present on Living Foodz channel. “In older times, women from joint families would get together to make them; amid stories and friendly banter, they would pickle, dry vegetables, ripen fruits, do different things stretched over days. Women would find an excuse to sit around and have long chats; that used to be entertaining.”


Writer Jyothi Valaboju dubs girls making avakaya and vadiyaalu as ‘management experts of planning and preparing seasonal food.’ “During this two-month lockdown, I noticed girls enthusiastically overlaying their balconies and terraces with plastic sheets and cotton saris to dry their vadiyaalu,” she shares.

Sacred custom


As somebody who ‘tasted a lot of pickle’, Kunal mentions the one factor that caught him the most. “Be it north, east, south or west, the course of of pickling throughout religions and communities is taken into account fairly sacred. Pickle is one thing necessary and carried out hygienically for the older technology girls — It is one thing that it is best to do.”

Part of many emotional tales featured in the 20+episode tv present, he observes, ‘Pickling and emotions run high — sublime and sometimes hilarious.’

One such story featured in the present was on Lagan Nu achaar made in Parsi neighborhood. As per a customized, the boy and woman’s aspect put together and distribute a dry fruit and carrot pickle amongst their members of the family. “If the members discover the pickle tasty, it’s a signal of approval to go forward with the wedding ceremony but when they don’t, it means approval will not be given. I discovered it amusing that an achaar can determine whether or not one will get married or not,” recollects Kunal, whose analysis on pickles continues as he’s now writing a ebook on it.

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