Stuffed Red Chilli Pickle (Bharwaan Lal Mirch Ka Achaar)


So we saw these beautiful long red chillies at the grocery store a few weeks back. They were so pretty that we couldn’t resist not buying them. Don’t you agree?ย We only took about 5-6 of them knowing we couldn’t do much with them other than make pickle. With just the two of us a pickle with 5-6 chilies would easily last over a year.

I made a similar pickle last year with green chilies and mango and there is still some left. Last time around, I just researched a little bit and made my own thing. This time I was going to take my mumโ€™s recipe- she makes the best pickle in the whole wide world!

Back home in India, at any given point of time there are more than 2 varieties of home-made pickle at my house- mango, green chilies, red chilies, carrots, cauliflower and what not. In fact, my mum makes pickle in such large quantities that it then gets distributed to our extended family and friends and sometimes there is little or nothing left for us. Yes, we Indians are very passionate about our pickles. ๐Ÿ™‚


So anyway, I got the recipe from my mum and made this really good looking and delicious pickle. Some of you may get intimidated with the thought of making pickle, but donโ€™t be. I always was intimidated with the thought of making pickles as a kid and even until last year when I made my first batch but believe me itโ€™s not difficult at all. Just a little bit of patience will get you raving reviews. ๐Ÿ™‚ Since I was dealing with hot red chillies and spices, I couldn’t take pictures of the process but hopefully the instructions should be clear. So, here is how I made it:

Stuffed Red Chilli Pickle (Bharwaan Lal Mirch Ka Achaar)


  • 5-6 long red chilies (you could also use green chilies)
  • 2-3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoons fenugreek seeds
  • 4 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 ยฝ tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Nigella seeds (kalonji), optional
  • 4 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 1 ยฝ tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dried mango powder (amchoor)
  • 1 teaspoon asafetida (hing)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • a cup of Mustard oil


  1. For this recipe you need to prepare a few things a couple of days in advance of actually making the pickle. So I have split this step-wise in 3 days:
  2. Day 1 (soaking the sun)
  3. Wash and pat dry the red chillies. Lay them on a kitchen towel and keep them in the sun for a day.
  4. Day 2 (soaking some more sun)
  5. Remove the green stalk from the chillies and slit them lengthwise from one side. Do not cut right through them. Just slit in a way that you can stuff the filling in it.
  6. If you donโ€™t want your pickle too spicy, discard the white seeds and the flesh from inside the chillies. I kept the seeds intact as we like our pickle extra spicy.
  7. Next, sprinkle the chillies with about ยฝ tablespoon of salt and keep them in the sun for another day. I did this to get rid of the excess moisture. My mum said this was not necessary but my chillies had a lot of moisture in them so I did this.
  8. Next, smash the garlic cloves with your knife and sprinkle just a little salt over them and keep them in the sun for a day.
  9. Day 3 (the day you make the pickle)
  10. With your kitchen towel, dry off any moisture that is on your red chillies and garlic and keep them aside while you get the filling ready.
  11. First, dry roast the fenugreek seeds in a pan for about 5 minutes, cool them and grind them in your spice grinder. Set this aside in a bowl.
  12. Next, dry roast the cumin seeds, Nigella seeds, fennel seeds, carom seeds and coriander seeds together for 5-7 minutes. Allow them to cool and grind them in your spice grinder. Mix this with the ground fenugreek.
  13. Next, grind the mustard seeds and add to the spice mix.
  14. To this spice mix, add in the dried mango powder, asafetida and the remaining salt. Take a taste and adjust for salt.
  15. Add it to the dry spice mix and incorporate it well, preferably with your hands.
  16. Then, add in a tablespoon of mustard oil and garlic and combine well. The mix should be the texture of coarse wet sand. Add in another teaspoon of oil of the mix is too dry.
  17. Then, fill in this mix in the pocket of red chillies. Stuff the chillies well with the filling.
  18. Put the stuffed red chillies in a sterilized dry jar and fill it with the mustard oil making sure that all the chillies are soaked in the oil. If you have some of the filling left, you can put that as well in the jar.
  19. Close the lid properly and keep the jar in the sun for a good 10-15 days.




The pickle will taste better as it matures so the longer it stays the better it gets. You can of course have it fresh as well but I suggest you wait- itโ€˜ll be worth it. Have it with your fav Indian curry or even use the pickle oil and some of the filling to marinade your paneer or chicken to make achaari tikkas and you’ll be amazed at how awesome everything will taste!

The pickle should last you at least a year. Just make sure you use a dry spoon while taking the pickle or the filling out of the jar. As long as there is enough oil in the pickle and no moisture, it could last longer than a year.



  1. Hi,

    I tried this recipe.. It was sunny but from the day I made it there no sun.
    Will it go bad?

  2. Hi Aditi and Nikhil

    You forgot to tell us at what stage we mix the garlic……

    Hope to hear from you soon.


  3. I have never tried stuffed chili pickle, but these are so gorgeous!

  4. This for sure looks fiery hot n fab… Love the colour of those chilli’s!

  5. Looks good. I started foraging last year and made pickles and jellies wohoo what a fiasco lol but good fun v time consuming. This looks good bit o think it would scare my kids ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. These look lovely ! Gonna try it out soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Absolute ESP! I just got some red chillies to make this achar. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. How pretty! But, sun? What sun?!?? Where is the sun I keep hearing about?!?!?!

  9. What a great recipe! beautiful photos!

  10. Beautiful recipe Aditi! Makes me want to try making them. Never tried making any kind of pickles since I always get jars from my MIL from India! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Beautiful colour, photos and superbly detailed recipe! This is great stuff! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Never had stuffed chili pickle before. My mouth watered at the thought. Will have to hunt these down!

  13. wow…my mom makes these…super yummy!!

  14. Now that is detail oriented! The peppers look so tiny that it would take a real patient and careful person (unlike me) to stuff those little guys. But they look delicious. They kind of remind me of the Japanese rice bran pickles. Are these a standard type of pickle you could find at an Indian grocer?

    • Thanks, Sue. I also thought I may have trouble working with them but I did pretty well :). You should find these in your indian store pretty easily. If not red then you should definitely find a green chili pickle. But of course the taste of home-made pickle is unmatchable! Look at me being modest ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. Yummy Aditi… Mine got fungus :(… May be because of the weather fluctuation or mooistrure. Next time will sun dry it.

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