Photo by Victoria Norkin, text by Naomi Scher
Making authentic-tasting Indian food at home can be tough, and ordering take out can be hit-or-miss. But what if you could get authentic Indian flavor at home with no effort or wait time? Indian food lovers and novelty condiment-hoarders rejoice: the Bushwick Food Coop now carries Brooklyn Delhi’s Roasted Garlic Achaar!
Achaar is an Indian condiment that’s part fermented garnish, part hot sauce. Brooklyn Delhi describes it as ‘India’s equivalent to Sriracha, harissa or kimchi.’ Achaar is made by pickling fruits, vegetables, and chillies with salt, spices, and a brining agent (such as lime juice). Once the raw ingredients are pickled, they’re covered in oil to preserve them. Most varieties of achaar are pretty spicy, but they’re meant to be used sparingly. Of course, it’s hard to resist putting a little of Brooklyn Delhi’s varieties on everything.
Brooklyn Delhi’s achaars are particularly unique, because unlike most brands available in the US, they’re formulated to let the fruit or vegetable flavors shine through the salt and the spices. They’re also locally produced in Crown Heights by Brooklyn couple Chitra Agrawal and Ben Garthus. Agrawal, a food writer and cooking instructor who’s working on her first cookbook, aims to make Brooklyn Delhi’s products both authentic and healthy. Like the BFC, Brooklyn Delhi prioritizes local ingredients – that’s why their achaars are composed of garlic, rhubarb, gooseberries, and tomatoes, which can all be grown in Brooklyn. Like all BFC products, Brooklyn Delhi achaars are GMO free.
Traditionally, achaar is eaten on rice and lentils, but it’s equally at home in eggs, on sandwiches, grilled meats, noodles, or in soups. Considering the endless possibilities and their addictive flavor, these 6 oz. jars will sell out fast. So pick up some Roasted Garlic (mem. $6.82, non-mem. $9.62) or Tomato Achaar (mem. $6.52, non-mem. $9.19) while it’s still in stock.