He is a famous name in the government sector with all his experience holding several senior positions in the civil service department. Rajiv Mehrishi has held many key positions including Finance Secretary and then Home Secretary to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India during his four-decade career. But the civil servant is now looking for a career change, from government employee to entrepreneur. Mehrishi is now slowly making his mark in Indian markets, where he sells pickles under the “Pickley – Taste of Dada” brand.
Rajiv Mehrishi, who retired as CAG of India in 2020, is pursuing his passion which he picked up as a hobby when he was co-secretary in the 90s. “I started doing pickles as a hobby. I didn’t take any recipe from anyone. I create my own recipe, according to my taste. I didn’t learn from anyone. The recipes are mine,” said the retired civil servant from 1978 to The Indian Express in an interview.
“I don’t know how much salt, methi dana (fenugreek seeds), saunf (fennel) should be mixed together when making the pickle, but I guess the amounts, and it works well,” Mehrishi said. “Bhagwan ki den hai, woh andaz hamesha sahi baithta hai, galat hota nahin kabhi. (It’s a gift from God, the guess is correct, it’s never wrong),” he told the newspaper.
Cooking is not a man’s job, the former IAS officer recalled his mother telling him during the interview. But he tried his hand at cooking in 1977, while working as a lecturer. “I used to cook in my apartment in college,” he said.
“Later, when I became joint secretary of the central government, I started making pickles. It was a great stress reliever. After working all week, I started making pickles over the weekend. It relieved me and made me feel better. It was very interesting,” Mehrishi told The Indian Express.
“At first, my family liked the taste of pickles, then my friends liked it too. Thus, the amount of pickles kept increasing. My mother and maternal aunt also liked the pickles I made. I thought if my aunt was praising it, then it must be fine,” the retired IAS officer added.
Things took a turn two years ago when he retired and his daughter-in-law Astha Jain made a proposal. She decides to market her pickles and this is how “Pickley – Taste of Dada” was born. “She markets pickles. First she registered a website, then she bought some bottles and started doing all that stuff. I don’t do the marketing side, she does it herself,” said Mehrishi, who hails from Bharatpur in Rajasthan.
The pickles and chutneys available at Pickley’s are “absolutely unique, made with original recipes, and are always extremely lightly spiced (unless requested),” the website says. In addition, they do not contain onions or garlic. All this keeps the taste of the main ingredients deep and fresh. Pickley’s website offers about 20 different pickles, including mango, jackfruit, bitter gourd, and more.
“I use homemade spices and mustard oil. I buy a particular brand of mustard oil in Bharatpur – it’s expensive but I only use this oil,” says Mehrishi, whose pickles brand is owned by Shaurya’s Pickles and Masalas Llp, set up by his daughter-in-law. , and named after his grandson.
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