How Long Does Indian Pickle Last Before Getting Spoiled?
Achar, or Indian pickle, has been a part of Indian culture and history for over 4,000 years. But, if you’re like me and have an old jar of Indian pickles in your cupboard or refrigerator, you’ve probably wondered if it goes bad.
I checked into it and discovered the following:
Pickles from India are a sort of fermented cuisine. It’ll be edible for at least two years if you don’t open it, and it can be refrigerated for up to a year once opened. However, you can keep it for about a month at room temperature (direct sunlight is frequently preferred). Keep a thin layer of oil on the pickle and serve it with a clean, dry spoon; but that’s just a taste of the delectable world of Indian pickles. So let’s delve a little further.
Oil, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, or water are commonly used to make Indian pickles, which are also known as relish in the United States. Mangoes, gooseberries, and limes can all be used to make these relishes or chutneys.
Cabbage, cauliflower, green beans, and other vegetables can be used to make savory Indian pickles. Garlic pickle, on the other hand, is by far my favorite. You might be wondering if a jar of Indian pickle you bought a long time ago (preferably not 4,000 years) has gone wrong.
How do you tell if an Indian pickle is terrible?
Continue reading to learn more!
When you open an Indian pickle, how long does it last?
If not refrigerated, the Indian pickle will last about a month once opened. It will, however, last around a year if refrigerated. Unopened Indian pickles, like other canned foods, will keep for a long time. When you open it, the pickle is exposed to oxygen and moisture, and two factors aid bacterial growth.
Refrigeration keeps the pickle dry and chilled, limiting the formation of microorganisms.
One way to extend the life of a chilled pickle after it has been opened is to drizzle it with oil after spooning some of it onto your plate with a clean, dry spoon. The oil works as an antibacterial barrier. So, as long as all of the fruits and veggies are below it, they should stay fresh and not deteriorate. Traditionally, mustard oil is used to make Indian pickles, but any neutral vegetable oil you have on hand can suffice.
If your Indian pickle isn’t already in a glass jar, you should consider doing so. The plastic will leech into the pickle, changing its flavor. Because glass does not leach, there will be no difference in taste.
How do you know if an Indian pickle is bad?
Indian pickle will keep for a long time if it is cooked, packaged, and treated adequately. If you’ve had your Indian pickle for several years, it’s understandable that you’re concerned about it going bad. You might open a jar of pickles, put them in the fridge, and then completely forget about them.
If you later find them at the back of the fridge, there are a few things to look for to make sure they haven’t gone bad.
Here are a few telltale indications of rotten pickles
- The jar’s domed lid (meaning it looks inflated)
- On the pickle, there is a black or brown mold development.
- Pickles with an exciting appearance
- Odor or taste that is unusual
As I indicated earlier, as long as the fruit or vegetable in your pickle is below the level of the oil, it won’t go wrong any time soon. As a result, it’s always a good idea to finish with a neutral oil like vegetable oil after each use. The fruits or vegetables inside the jar will remain below the level of the oil in this manner. This prevents the pickle from coming into contact with the air, and this is where germs can begin to grow.
If you’ve looked at your pickles and still aren’t sure if they’re edible, toss them out. In my house, we have a saying: “When in doubt, throw it out.” It’s preferable to be safe than to become ill as a result of consuming rotting food.
Is it necessary to keep Indian pickles refrigerated?
Indian pickles don’t need to be refrigerated if they haven’t been opened. Simply putting the unopened, airtight jar in an excellent, dry location will keep them fresh for a long time. Jars that haven’t been opened can be stored in your kitchen pantry.
If you’re preparing a fresh Indian pickle, you’ll need to let it sit out for a few days at room temperature first. However, unless you’re preserving it in a mason jar, I’d keep it refrigerated after that to extend the shelf life. Bacteria or fungal spores must colonize something for it to spoil. Bacteria and fungus find a high quantity of salt or sugar to be unfriendly, limiting their growth. Pickling was invented as a method of preservation when refrigeration was not accessible.
Modern procedures, on the other hand, are not the same. Time the salt, vinegar, and oil will keep them safe for a while, and they will go bad within a month at room temperature, especially when hands and utensils touch them regularly.
Indian pickles should be kept chilled once opened. This will keep them fresher for longer and prevent bacteria and fungi from growing on them. Some Indian chefs, on the other hand, swear by keeping theirs in a sealed jar on a sunny shelf. So, it’s up to you to make a decision. I’ve always kept mine in the fridge.
How can you keep mango pickles fresh for a long time?
Keep a jar of mango pickles refrigerated with the lid well-fastened to extend its shelf life. You can also add more oil and vinegar to make sure the components are consistently below the liquid’s surface. Pickling is a preservation method in and of itself. Food’s shelf life will be naturally extended by brine fermentation or vinegar immersion. However, making your own may be the best option. The steps for making a mango pickle with dried mango are outlined below. The use of dried mango ensures a longer shelf life.
Then we’ll go through some tips for extending your life span
No.1 Make sure your mangoes are completely dry before using them
It takes some time, but drying mangoes in the sun is simple.
Begin by chopping the mango into small pieces. Fill a clean glass jar halfway with mango slices and season with sea salt and one tablespoon of turmeric powder. Close the jar and shake it to spread the salt evenly over the mango.
Allow the mango jar to sit in the sun for three days. Two or three times per day, give the container a good shake. Remove the mango chunks from the jar after three days and spread them out on a clean cotton towel. Please keep them in the light for three more days, rotating them every three days. Bring them inside after three days to complete the process.
For around ten days, the mangoes must be left out in the open. The mangoes will be ready for storage or pickling after ten days of air drying. The chunks will be soft and flavorful, with a salty, sour taste. Any water left in the jar after drying the mangoes should be saved.
The decaying process will be slowed by drying the mangos before pickling.
You may also buy dried mango but search for one without added sugar or salt, as well as preservatives like nitric oxide. You’ll have complete control over the components this way.
No.2 Combine the dried spices in a bowl
2 tbsp. dried fennel powder, fenugreek powder, and yellow mustard powder are to be combined. You can either grind it yourself or purchase it in powdered form. Prepare 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida (also known as heng or hing) and one tablespoon additional powdered turmeric.
No.3 Bring the oil up to temperature
In a skillet or pot, heat 1 cup of mustard oil. Mustard oil is beneficial since it not only serves as a preservative but also adds flavor. Are you looking for mustard oil but can’t seem to track it down? A good alternative is to combine one teaspoon of dried mustard with two tablespoons of vegetable oil. Eight tablespoons mustard powder for 1 cup of vegetable oil. Turn off the heat when the oil is warm (but not boiling).
No.4 Spices should be added now
To begin, whisk in the asafoetida. The turmeric is next added and stirred in. Add the rest of the spices last.
No.5 Pour in the remaining water from the jar and the mango strips
Add the mango strips and any remaining sour water from the jar in which they were dried. Everything should be thoroughly combined. Place the mango in a mason jar and cover well with oil. To extend the shelf life, keep it refrigerated or on a window sill in direct sunshine.
Is it possible for an Indian pickle to go bad? (It won’t happen overnight, but here’s how to find out)
If you see a slimy texture in the pickle juice or formation of molds or sense a bad smell or a combination of all three, then your pickle has gone bad and isn’t fit for consumption.
However, there are a few things you can do to extend the life of your mango pickle:
Refrigerate tiny jars filled with mango pickles. Instead of opening a large jar of mango pickles every time, you can merely open a little jar and in this way extend the life of your pickle. It’s because the other jars aren’t exposed to as much moisture as when you’d have stored them in one big jar, they will last longer.
Keep the pickle as salty as possible. It’s saltier than it needs to be. The salt will absorb into the pickles, preserving them organically.
Pour in a lot of vinegar. This will enhance the flavor while also extending the shelf life.
Keep the pickle refrigerated. When serving your pickle, make sure you use a clean and dry spoon. Excess moisture accelerates the decay process, causing it to go bad faster. It’s also critical to use sanitary and clean packing materials. Bacteria and fungi could grow more quickly if the packing materials are dirty.
How long do unopened Indian pickles last?
The shelf life of an unopened Indian pickle is determined mainly by the type of fruit or vegetable used in its preparation. It also depends on the remaining elements. Pickles from India are often produced with a lot of oil and salt. They’re also commonly pickled, which is a fermentation process. As a result, you can expect it to taste fresh and astounding for one to two years if it hasn’t been opened. Pickles with mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds can also be kept for a long time.
It also depends on how the pickles are kept. For the most extended shelf life, keep Indian pickles in a cool and dry place. In addition, after it’s been opened, you should always serve it with a clean, dry spoon. Contaminants can be introduced by using wet or dirty spoons.
Have I answered all of your questions on whether Indian pickles go bad?
Pickles from India come in a variety of flavors and textures. Oil, vinegar, or lemon juice are commonly used in their preparation. These are all-natural preservatives that extend the shelf life of pickles.
We talked about Indian pickle in this article and how long it lasts in both circumstances - unopened and after it’s been opened. We also discussed ways to make mango pickle last longer and whether or not Indian pickle needs to be refrigerated. Cucumber pickles are not to be confused with Indian pickles. Pickles are frequently prepared into a fresh relish or chutney in India.