Meera’s Pikkle – A jarful of nostalgia
When was the last time you ate pickle with your meal that wasn’t store bought? What if we tell you that there is a pickle available in the market that has no preservatives, no additives and will definitely fill you with childhood nostalgia? Mumbai resident Meera Parwani is making pickles that’ll remind you of summer holidays, the winter chill and mom’s love.
Meera had dreams of doing something of her own when she was all of seventeen. But her father was a bit conservative and her aspirations had to succumb to parental pressure. After an early marriage, she got busy in family life taking care of the house, husband and children. “It was last year around May, my husband, children and I were sitting together when he suggested that I should start making and selling pickles since I was so good at it,” says Meera. The next day her son took her to buy glass jars, spices and raw mango and the work started instantly. “My husband was a bit surprised and he asked me if I was sure of it. I said I can do it as long as I have the family’s support,” she says with a smile.
Meera started sending out hundreds of samples to family and friends. The positive and encouraging response gave her the confidence to launch Meera’s Pikkles. “I didn’t want to depend on people I knew to buy my product. I wanted to reach out to more people and so I had my first exhibition at St. Regis,” she says. The rains played spoil sport at the event and the lousy stall placement added further insult to injury. “Everything went wrong and for two months I was completely disheartened but there weren’t too many people doing something in the similar space of making preservative and additive free pickles and that’s what kept me going,” she adds. The next pop-up at Khar Gymkhana was a success and the brand took off. Orders started pouring in.
Meera has learnt the recipes of pickles from her mother in law, “She used to make me sit on the floor with the masalas. I learnt from her for 3-4 years before we moved into a separate house. But I kept making pickles and sending them to the family,” she tells us. Most of the recipes come from the Sindhi and Punjabi lineage like the Kesari Aam Pickle which has a Punjabi tinge to it. The Lemon Lover is her own creation where she sundries lemons for 2-3 months and mixes it with ginger, chilly and raw turmeric. There’s no oil in this pickle so you can eat it with khichdi or dal rice if you are unwell.
There are about 11 pickles on Meera’s menu including Khatta Do Pyaza made with baby onions, Kurkure Carrot, Bumpy Brinjal, Pineapple Pickle, Garlic Pickle and many more “People come and tell me that they haven’t had homemade pickles since years and my recipes remind them of home. People are always calling for refills and that’s something that really motivating for me,” adds Meera.
Like an experienced cook, Meera doesn’t rely on measurements for her recipes, “my hand is set with the recipes now and I don’t even taste. Somehow the pickles always turn out the same,” she says. The spices used in the pickles are all grounded at home. Right from making the pickles to filling them in jars, Meera does everything on her own. The sealing and packing is done by her staff. She has also added jams to the menu which don’t use any preservative and have minimum sugar just to add sheen to the product. The shelf life of these products is really long since the oil in the pickles acts as a natural preservative. Jams are recommended to be refrigerated for a longer shelf life.
At present Meera’s Pikkles are available via direct order but will soon be available on the Scootsy Food Delivery App.