I am used to pickle meaning a cucumber in brine, you know, the dill pickles served with deli sandwiches. The first time I saw achar, I had no idea what it was and had to ask. When Tariq said it was "pickle", I just kind of stared at him. It didn't look like a pickle to me.
I didn't like it at first, it smelled kind of odd, it was really oily, and just didn't look very appealing. I mean- mushy, oily, funny smelling vegetables or fruits? Ick!
As with lots of stuff in my life now, it just took a while to get used to. I eventually gave in and tried a bit. First a bit of garlic, ok, not so bad. Then a small nibble of the carrot, hmm, that's kind of tasty. Then a taste of mango and a bit of lemon, wow that's pretty good actually. It did take a while longer to get used to eating the lemon and mango skins though.
We eat achar with dals(lentils) and rice, and other types of food that are a little on the plain side. Usually there is a little bowl of achar served with breakfast, as it is tasty to eat just plain achar with parathas.
We always buy the mixed achar that has green mangoes, lemons, carrots and garlic. Sometimes they put other stuff in it like olives. There are many different types of achar, but we always stick to our favorite, and we always buy from the same little store in the market.