Talk to me about Indian pickles..

Any fans of Indian pickles in here? On the surface it tastes absolutely horrible but it keeps calling me back for more… I can’t think of any other food I simultaneously hate and am drawn to at the same time like this.

The problem is that when you go to Indian markets there are SO. MANY different kinds of pickles, I can’t tell which one to get, I just get overwhelmed and give up. One of the Indian markets here used to have a pickle bar where you could pick whatever you want and put it in a deli container which was great, but with covid such things are no more.

I picked up a mixed pickle jar a few days ago and it tastes more or less the same as what I’m used to eating at Indian restaurants (hooray!).

Any suggestions on what to have it with? Are certain kinds better than others (mango, garlic, chili, etc)

1 Like

I feel the same way about Indian pickles. I hope someone has answers about this. We have a market here in New Orleans that has tons of them and I can never decide what to get

1 Like

I’ve never had Indian pickles. I’m going to have to research that. Thanks for the search topic!

1 Like

I’m not knowledgeable about Indian pickles but I am a fan of Indian mango pickle. A local chaat restaurant serves it as a condiment with cholle bhature, which is a deep fried puffy bread that puffs up like a balloon, alongside garbanzo beans. The sour spiciness of the pickle cuts through the fat of the fried bread nicely.


See fourth paragraph:


1 Like

Pickles and chutneys are pretty much essential accompaniments to South Asian food.

I wish we had a pickle bar as mentioned in the OP. That’d be great but I’ve never seen one in the UK, not even in the shops in the Asian communities.

I tend to make my own chutney and pickles which we eat with Asian meals. I currently have a mango chutney, a tomato/lime/chilli chutney and a beetroot & onion pickle. Whether shop bought or homemade, I think the eating follows the same basic principles. They are there to complement the rest of the food. So, at home, if I was eating a dish that had a lot of chilli, I might want to balance that with a sweetish chutney like the mango. On the other hand, something like a chicken dish might need perking up with the tomato/lime/chilli one. Like any food, it’s really just a matter of what you enjoy eating - so that should lead what you might buy in an Asian shop.

Of course the OP seems to have found an answer in buying a product that’s similar to what’s been served at an Asian restaurant.


Chole bhature is one of my favorites! Love that fried bread. The shops in my area don’t serve it with pickles but maybe you just have to ask? It’s on my short list of things to learn to make at home.

1 Like

Wow that’s a lot of chutney and pickles you have going on! Would you happen to have a recipe for the beetroot & onion pickle?

If certain kinds really were better, wouldn’t the worse ones soon be cancelled? :slight_smile:

Not just about pickles but every type of food, there’s a huge variety of things that someone, somewhere obviously likes, and there are always items in that variety that make me think “Really? Why? This is terrible!”. But “Mr. Someone Somewhere” keeps on eating it anyway. :grinning:

I do. And I’ve had the recipe for so long that measurements are in imperial not metric.

2lb beetroot
1lb onion
1.5lb apple
1lb raisins
2 pint malt vinegar
2lb sugar
6 tea spoon ground ginger

Grate or finely shred the beetroot. Finely chop the onion and apple . I tend to do both these processes by hand but using a processor is fine. Put everything into you pan, bring to the boil and simmer. Probably take a couple of hours until it’s become quite thick.

This is one of those pickles that are designed for storing long term, even once opened (no fridge needed). My current batch of this is a 2018 vintage.


Thanks for the recipe! Is that also a style of Indian pickle? It sounds delicious but the stuff I’m talking about has tons of spices and is super funky/pungent. Today for lunch I made a fusiony burrito (taco meat + indian chickpeas + basmati rice + usual burrito stuff) and had it with some of the funky Indian pickles… got my usual reaction of “that tastes awful but I love it.”

I think this stuff is SO strong that it doesn’t actually “go with” anything. On the flip side it’s just as good with everything.

Yes, it’s in the style of a South Asian pickle/chutney.

If you’ve not already done so, it’ll possibly be a good idea whn you’re next at a restaurant and come across one you enjoy, to ask what it is. You can then look out for it at your local Asian food shop. For example, most restaurants where I am in the UK will have a lime pickle. And this is readily available in the supermarkets (not that I buy it, as I find there’s usually too much chilli in it for me).

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold