Brinjal, bitter gourd, amla, hot and sweet ginger, prawns, green mussels or crab meat – take your pick! Ammini’s pickles offer an even more diverse range and they have low salt, oil, chilli and vinegar unlike the commercial varieties in the market.
The home-based food venture is the brainchild of sound engineer Abraham Varghese and is an ode to his mother’s great culinary skills. “Despite being a working woman, my mother always found time to cook delicious food. Pickles and cakes were her specialties. When I was young I didn’t realise how unique they were. But as I grew up and had a travelling job, I started missing her cooking,” recalls Abraham. So when his established business took a hit after 16 years of existence, he decided to follow his heart and started by making pickles at home.
“I made three kilos of fish, garlic and brinjal pickle based on my mother’s recipes. I gave it for free to a few of my friends and they all liked it. But I didn’t know how to market it. A friend suggested selling it through marketing it on Facebook, since the medium has a huge following. I adhered to him and put up my first batch of five kilos of seven varieties of pickles. They were sold in a matter of few hours and owing to positive feedback online, I was booked for a month,” he says. Rest as they say is history. Today Ammini’s Pickles has close to 12 varieties of pickles including vegetarian and non-vegetarian varieties.
It takes a month to make 12 varieties of pickles, says Varghese. His day starts as early as 5 am, when the vegetables arrive in the market and he picks the best ones. Similarly he hunts for fresh fish, crab and prawns. A long cleansing process which entails using vinegar, water and multiple rounds of washing is carried out. This ensures all the ingredients are clean and add to the freshness of the pickles. “I had so many names to choose from but in 2012, when Io come up with a name, I decided that I will use my mother’s short name Ammini as a token of love and respect to my mom who taught me all about pickles and masalas,” he adds.
Unlike commercial brands, Abraham says he takes a lot of time to select, clean and cook his pickles. But he intends to only give the very best to his customers even if it means that he has to limit his production.
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