I'm an Indian food freak, and therefore spend lots of time as an Indian food proselytizer. In that role, I perceive that my fellow Americans generally love Indian food, when they get to savor good, authentic examples of it. But there is always one no-fly zone, one tremendously important Indian taste that few Americans can handle: the taste of Indian pickle. It is an absolutely essential condiment at Indian meals in India, one of those "tastes" (like grated cheese on pasta) that helps define a cuisine—but it has never caught on here. I understand this; before I went to India and tasted the fresh, vibrant pickles there, I too was not a fan.
So I decided to make Indian pickles safe for Americans—to create an Indian pickle with training wheels. The following recipe blends a bit of the strong pickle taste with the more crowd-pleasing taste of chutney, and with some raw vegetables. All you need to do to get started is to find a jar of Indian pickle at an Indian grocery store: I've recommended lime pickle, the easiest to find, but use any Indian pickle you like.
Blend it up, serve with any Indian meal—and watch that pickle-phobia melt away.