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05.09.2018

Small-batch homemade pork pickle? Yup. Also yum. Say hello to Pickle Shickle, a line of homemade pickles run by sisters Preetika and Prerna Chawla out of their homes in Mumbai, and now Delhi. The pickles are great, but what makes them a pantry staple is their range of uncommon ingredients. There's pork, and also prawn, jackfruit, mutton, and lotus stem. Your weekday lunch of dal-chawal just got a whole lot brighter.

As all truly good things do, Pickle Shickle's recipe comes from their grandmother's kitchen. She developed this Coorgi-style pickle recipe while their grandfather, an airforce officer, was posted in the area. Many years later, when their mum would visit them in Bombay, the girls would request a steady supply of the pickles with their friends quickly following suit.

Pickle Shickle almost feels like a community brand. The sisters, who both have busy careers as actors, started making the pickles in August 2016 spurred on by friends' repeated requests for their pork pickle. They looked to the same friends to help give it its name, took quick Facebook polls for opinions on their packaging design, and have relied on friends to ferry seasonal ingredients like jackfruit, safely stuffed into suitcases.

This past week, as they work on a brand new range of products including a chunky bacon relish, and Nyotijau (crispy onion and garlic in chilli oil), a Burmese condiment, it's been hard to miss the social media posts from Bombay's creative community; endorsements from fellow actors, writers and directors, have been swift and strong.

The maternal influence on Pickle Shickle continues. As demand has grown, the sisters have moved the base of their operation to Delhi. Each day, after lunch, Preetika and her mum make their pickles in their home kitchen. They're adamant to continue to be 'small-batch', buying fresh seasonal ingredients from their local markets and keeping to their original recipe. While their pickles definitely brighten an everyday meal, the sisters also have plenty of creative suggestions for how you can use their pickles in tacos, sandwiches and pani puri poppers. If you spot them at a pop-up this season, it's likely you'll be able to try a popper. You can thank us then.

Getting there: Pickle Shickle delivers nationwide through their website. A 350 gram bottle of Jack The Pickle (jackfruit) costs Rs. 350 while Suar-ly (pork) is priced at Rs. 400.

Neysa Mendes is the founder of @goodslice.

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