Their journey of making pickles started three decades ago, but it’s only in the last three years that Jaiveer Rao, his wife Prasanna Lakshmi and mother Premavathy have taken their family tradition to a larger audience.
Describing their craft as an amalgamation of different cultures and recipes passed down from generations, Lakshmi, the co-founder of the enterprise, says, “We have been making pickles and podis for over three decades. I am from Tadipatri, Anantapur, my mother-in-law is from Hyderabad and my mother is from Ambajipeta, Amalapuram because of which I have specialised in all the regional pickles and podis that have been handed down from one generation to the next.”
Narrating how it all began, Jaiveer says, “We had been sharing small quantities of our pickles and podis with friends and relatives; but they used to finish them in a couple of weeks or maximum, in a month. Some of them used to ask for refills. Once, during the mango pickle season, we had a small get together where all of them requested us for larger quantities that they would not mind paying for. That was three years ago, when we decided to make the pickles and podis in larger quantities, and that’s how The Pickle Story was born.” Not surprisingly, their fame has already reached far and wide. Celebrity chef and restaurateur Kunal Kapoor, whose favourite pickle is mango pickle had visited them to learn how to make boiled mango pickle (Uddukinna Thoku) and featured the same in his series, Pickle Nation.
Best known for their homemade creations, most of the products and ingredients are painstakingly made by hand. “We use very little machinery, this helps in keeping the aromas and flavours intact, even the measurements are accurate this way. We do not make more than what can be sold, last year most of our pickles were sold out by October or November,” reveals Lakshmi.
So, what’s the secret behind making long lasting and delicious pickles? “The consistency in the taste of the pickles comes only when they are stored in larger quantities in air tight containers unlike the commercial pickles which are stored in smaller packs,” explains Lakshmi.