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Pickled Chillies

Pickled Chillies

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If you grew up in a typical Indian home you would know that there always had to be a bottle of pickle or several bottles of pickle in your pantry. Pickled Chillies is something my mum always made.

Pickled Chillies

Pickled chillies in a white speckled bowl on a wooden board

It was obviously not the only pickle we had in our home. All the pickles were never store bought, always homemade and we always had a variety of them.

My middle sister is crazy about pickles, me not so much. I remember how she ate those pickles like it was dinner…Lol!  

Although I say I am not a pickle fan I do eat pickles. But I don’t have to have it. I can live without it.

If I can get pickles made by someone else I don’t see the need to make my own. I find Indian pickles too complicated for me.

Did I actually say that!!! I am kidding, this pickle was actually pretty easy to make. I did eat some too and it was totally delicious.

Seeing it was so easy to make. Maybe as the years go by I may try a few more.  For now I think this should satisfy everyone’s pickles cravings…haha!

How to make Pickled Chillies

According to my mum I had to steam the chillies in some water and vinegar for a few minutes first. I think this just speeds up the soaking process.

Here is South Africa we have something called a pickle masala. It makes pickle making easy as you don’t have to blend a whole lot of spices together.

However, for the sake of my international followers I have made this Pickled Chillies from scratch. I think it tastes amazing, even if I am not a pickle fan.

My hubby couldn’t stop eating the Pickled Chillies. I had to ask him to stop eating them so I could have some left for my photos. 

I know that as Indians we have this habit of making tons of pickle all at once. For me personally that doesn’t work.

What works for me is making them in smaller batches. My mother-in-law may disagree with this.

Only because she sends my hubby pickles that he can probably eat for about 10 years. Luckily some of it can be frozen.

So if you’re running out of pickles stop by at our place…Lol! If it’s made in small batches that way it’s eaten quicker and I don’t have to worry about it spoiling.

Once it’s finished and by then I am bored with it anyway so I can make a fresh batch of something else.

Yes, I know you’ve already gathered I am crazy. I am very much Indian, although some may disagree.  I just don’t follow all the “rules”…Lol!

If you do try this recipe please drop me a comment and leave a star rating. It is always appreciated.

More Recipes to try:

Sweet and Sour Mango Pickle

Indian Mixed Vegetable Pickle

Pickled Chillies

Perfect accompaniment to Indian food, to add some heat
Course Condiment
Keyword indian pickled chillies, pickled chillies
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes


  • 250 gram green chillies
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • water
  • 3 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 6 large cloves garlic slivered
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or olive oil


  • Wash the chillies well and place in a shallow pan. Cover the chillies with just enough water so they are immersed. Add 1/4 cup vinegar and 2 tsp coarse salt.
  • Place the chillies on the stovetop on medium heat and allow it to come to a boil, not more than about 8 minutes.
  • Drain the excess water and pat the chillies dry with some paper towels.
  • Roast the fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds and coriander seeds.Allow it to cool a little. Place in a grinder or pestle and mortar and coarsely grind them.
  • Add the oil and garlic to a pan and heat gently until it's warm. Mix in the spices, allow it to cool a little and add it to the chillies
  • Add the other 1/4 cup vinegar and salt. Mix well
  • Transfer to a clean, sterilsed glass jar and refrigerate


  1. You can top up the chillies with more oil if you wish.
  2. It is better to make pickles in small amounts so it can be finished in a short time. The vinegar and salt helps preserve the pickle well so I don't find the need for too much oil.


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Friday 25th of March 2022

This is one of the best pickles I have made EVER. use the bought ATCHAR pickle spice, done with germ, red, big, small, and never disappoints. It's even better thank the pickles I buy from the local Indian deli. One question, have had pickled lemon .... do you have a recipe ??


Tuesday 19th of April 2022

Thank you so much. I am glad you enjoyed the recipe. I will try and post a recipe for the pickled lemons soon:-)


Wednesday 2nd of February 2022

I wondered if the chillies have to be completely covered in oil and vinegar much like other pickles? I have long chillies so the amount of oil and vinegars is way down in the jar - should I chop them into pieces?

Colleen Aschmann

Thursday 2nd of December 2021

My husband doesnt like garlic. Can this be substituted with onions?


Thursday 2nd of December 2021

You can omit the garlic, it just adds flavour.


Tuesday 5th of October 2021

Hello, how much pickle masala must I use if I don't want to blend a whole lot of spices and at what stage is it added


Tuesday 5th of October 2021

Hi Adrian! You can use about 1&1/2 tbsp of pickle masala. You add it after the step with the vinegar. The oil is then heated and added to the pickle.


Saturday 5th of June 2021

What type of asian green chilli is best for this recipe?


Monday 7th of June 2021

Hi Odelia! Here in SA the cayenne chilli is what's most commonly used. However, you can use thai green chillies:-)

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