Homemade Indian Green Chili Pickle is spicy and delicious condiment. It is made with simple and easy to find ingredients. Pickles play integral role of spice enhancement in Indian dinner menu. This Chili Pepper Pickle is full of complex flavors with bold , spicy and fiery taste.
This easy Indian pickle is prepared with freshly cut green chili peppers. We use tampered oil with variety of spices to make it last longer. Fresh lemon or lime juice and salt are other essential ingredients to make it tangy and crisp. It is served as relish, a taste enhancer as well as a side dish for lunch and dinner.
I love making fresh homemade pickles. Carrot Ginger Pickle is my instant picker upper and so is Sweet Lemon Pickle. Along with fresh Flaxseed Garlic Chutney and Apple Ginger Chutney, I always have jar full of homemade vegan condiments in my refrigerator.
Indian Pickle – Achar Recipes
Pickles are called Achar in Hindi. They are produced in every region of India with minor tweaks and adjustments. Most families have their heirloom recipes passed down for generations.
Variety of vegetables like mango, lemon, green chilis, carrots, goose berry (amla), cauliflower, radish, tomato, onion, pumpkin, palm heart, lotus stem, garlic cloves, ginger are used in pickles.
If you visit Indian grocery stores in US, you will see row of different pickles sold. These pickles are all full of flavors, tangy and super delightful. They are a must have culinary delight.
Similar to Kimchi, they are pungent with full-bodied fermented flavor.
Perfect Summertime Project
In India, my grandmother used to painstakingly make variety of different pickles during summer months. They are often made to preserve the season’s best produce so it can last through out the year. I remember her making big jars full of pickles and chutneys.
I always make this green chili pickle towards the end of the summer. It lasts me throughout the winter and usually towards the next season.
My vegetable garden is often overloaded with variety of green chili peppers. Before the first frost, I pick up all of them. Same goes for red tomatoes which I use in making a big batch of Instant Pot Tomato Chutney. I do the same thing and make Peach Chutney / Jam from garden fresh peaches.
What is the difference between Indian Pickle and American Pickle?
In America, pickle is often a preserved cucumber. Specially grown cucumbers are preserved in salt and vinegar mixture. The brine helps keep the cucumbers crisp and it can last for long time. Whereas in India, pickles are made using variety of different vegetables.
Indian pickles include a great mix of dry spice mix called Aachar Masala along with lemon juice. Spice infused warm oil called ” Tadka ” is added to bring out the flavors of spices to the forefront. It amplifies the taste of dried herbs and avoids any moisture that might accumulated over time. Thus pickle can last for extended period of time.
Ingredients for Green Chili Pickle
Exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here’s a brief overview and substitutions:
- Green Chili Peppers – I prefer to use long spicy green peppers to make pickles. Rinse and wash them well. Then dry them completely. Removing all the moisture is important in preserving the pickle. Since these chili peppers are spicy, use extreme caution in handling them. I prefer to use gloves avoid skin burning . Also avoid touching your face especially eyes while making this pickle.
- Spices and Dry Herbs – Coarsely ground mix of cumin Seeds, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds and fennel Seeds. We also use Turmeric powder and Salt.
- Oil – I like to make my pickles in mustard oil. You can also use other cooking oils like sesame oil, canola or sunflower oil.
- Fresh Lemon or Lime Juice – A must have to balance out the hot spicy peppers. The acidity adds freshness and helps in preserving the pickle.
- Tadka / Oil Tempering Ingredients – as mentioned above, hot oil tempering further helps in preserving the pickles. It also brings out intense flavors and dry spices bloom in hot oil. For making tadka, you need oil, mustard seeds and asafetida.
- White Vinegar – Helps with preservations. I often use a little.
How to Make Indian Green Chili Pickle
- Prepare the chili peppers – Wash and completely dry the chili peppers. Make sure no traces of water exists on them. Cut the top of chilies and make bite size pieces. I prefer to use gloves cutting and handling the peppers as the heat in peppers can give burning sensation on the fingers.
- Make Dry Pickle Masala / Spice Mix – Dry roast cumin seeds, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, and fennel seeds on low flame for few minute. Stir often so not to burn the seeds. Turn off the heat. Cool the mixture completely, and blend to slightly coarse powder. Your pickle spice powder is ready.
- Mix – Combine the spice powder ( pickle masala) with the cut up chilies. Also combine turmeric powder, lemon or lime juice and salt. Add 2 tsp of white vinegar. Vinegar acts as preservative and helps store the pickles for longer time.
- Make Oil Tempering/ Tadka – Heat oil in a sauce pan. Add black mustard seeds, turmeric powder and in pinch of asafetida in heated oil. Let it infuse for couple minute on medium low heat. Turn off heat. Allow the oil mixture to cool completely and pour over pickle.
- Combine – Mix well to combine all the ingredients well. Let it marinate for few hours or up to couple days to soak in all the flavors.
- Serve as a side dish for lunch and dinner. Or topping for toasts , pancakes etc. Store in a cool dry place or refrigerate. Enjoy !
How to Store?
There are couple distinctly different methods to store the pickle. They all work well. So choose whichever is best suitable for you.
- Soon after you make it, keep it in the sun for three to four days, in a muslin-covered glass jar with a layer of oil on top to act as a moisture barrier and preserve the growth of bacteria. Then move it cool dry place. Air tight lid is a must.
- You can also store it in a cool, dry place. Make sure to keep the lid tightly covered .
- Keeping it in refrigerator also works.
I prefer to use wide mouth mason glass jars to store pickles. Old marinara bottles can be recycled and used. Make sure to dry them well before use.
Serving Suggestions :
I like to serve pickles with simple basmati rice and Dal Tadka or Dal Palak. A simple meal becomes scrumptious with addition of this spicy pickle. You can also use it as a side to Moong Dal Khichadi or Turmeric Lemon Rice.
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- 20 green chili peppers ( I have used serrano peppers) about 2 cups
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel Seeds
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 1 cup fresh lemon /lime juice
- 2 tsp vinegar ( Optional for longer storage)
- Salt to taste
- ¼ cup cooking oil - I prefer to use mustard seed oil
Additional oil tempering / Tadka Mixture :
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- 1 Teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- pinch of asafoetida ( Optional)
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 56Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 32mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g
Nutritional values are provided as a courtesy and the values are approximate. The values will change depending on the exact ingredients, measurements and brands used. As always, for specific health issues and dietary requirements please consult medical professional.