Bhara mirchi ka achaar ~ Stuffed chilli pickle

In this post:
A & V are Mr. & Mrs.Jha
Smt.Nirmala Jha – A’s mother and the Chief Cook:) (Seen below)
Smt.Nutan Jha – V’s co-sister and the Demonstrator (Seen below)

When I had posted dal khichdi sometime back I had quoted a popular saying from Bihar “khichdi ke chaar yaar. Dahi, papad, ghee, achaar”! I should have been more specific! When I said achaar I did not mean just any, but “Mirchi ka Achaar” more specfically “the” mirchi ka achaar that I had tasted long back at V & A’s place, and the one that I am sharing with all of you today! Again, this is not something I made – I am afraid I really have a long long way to go before I get a decent pickle ready:).

The pictures showing the pickling process have been taken and given to me by V, a dear friend. Above is the sprightly lady – Smt.Nirmala Jha who had been making this pickle for the past 40years before passing over the baton to her Daughter-In-Law, Nutan Jha (obviously a fine learner). Having tasted this you will never again look at the shop bought ones, and that is a promise! Just try it once for yourself:)

When TONGUE TICKLERS…… was still at its infancy I had once expressed my weakness for my dear friend, V’s Lal Mirchi Ka Achaar. She gave me a generous batch two years back around this time, and I remember how the infectious taste caught on among my office mates. Most of them pressed me to get them a batch too but it was too late as the chillies were no longer available. The result – V and her family started it as a business venture last year, and I was their ‘bribed’ middleman, selling their tasty achaar to my colleagues. They made a huge sale but also a huge loss – now we know what finance and marketing is all about!

V called me a couple of weeks back to ask whether I would like a jar of my favourite pickle (neki aur pooch pooch?). I was only too glad and least said I was jumping for joy and performing a jig all at the same time! Since the venture went kaput last time this year she decided on doing something better – her Mother-In-Law, has come here for good, and wanted to share her recipe with others! I am honored that she chose my blog as her platform – I guarantee you this one will have you licking your plate, your fingers and making you go smack with your tongue!! Get ready to get mesmerised by this age old and traditional method of pickling straight from the veteran’s hand!

Did I get you drooling? Then it is unfair to delay further! Drool more:)

The variety of red chillies required for making this pickle is the firm (not aged) ripe red one which is available between January and March in India. Take a look at the picture to get an idea.

The lady warns that you will experience a burning sensation in your hands after the pickling that will remain for at least 3 to 4 days!! No wonder they do not want a business anymore:)

Shelf life:
Auntyji says it will last a year, but believe me – I am experienced and I know hogs lick the jar clean at the end of only 4 months!! Maybe you could eat in a conservative manner, but we ate it like there was no tomorrow:)

Sterilised jars.






Wash theRed chillies & dry it in direct sun light for some time. Remove the head & deseed all the chillies. Keep the seeds aside.

Heat the kadhai/pan slightly & roast each ingredient listed as ‘B’ separately till you get a good aroma.

Grind the roasted ingredients (except the kalaunji) in a spice grinder to a fine powder.

Next grind the seeds of the chillies that had been set aside earlier.

Mix both the ground mixtures together adding kalaunji, and mix with D well till uniformly mixed. Warning – Your hands will burn for at least 3-4 days!

Pour some oil & hing in the end. The oil should be enough to help you gather the mixture. Let the mixture sun well for a day or two in good direct sunlight.

After sunning the mixture is ready to be filled into the hollow chillies. You may keep the chillies full or cut them into 3 or 4 pieces according to the size & fill the masala in the pieces.

Pour the remaining oil & bottle the pickle in clean, dry and sterilised jars. The jars must be kept in hot direct sunrays for at least 3-4 days.

After that the achaar is ready to be eaten.

This will last for a year if you eat it conservatively!!!!

Our reaction after one lick – “Uff uff mirchi, hai hai mirchi, uff uff mirchi……

Mrs.Nirmala Jha’s suggestion for serving:
This mouthwatering pickle can be served with parathas or khichdi.

My tuppence:
I just press out the masala and mix it up with some plain hot steamed rice and have it with chips on the side. Lip-smacking!!

Words and Meanings in this post:
Achaar – pickle
Khichdi – A semi-solid gruel made of rice and dal
“Khichdi ke chaar yaar – dahi, papad, ghee, achaar” –
“Khichdi is tasty when had with four friends – Yogurt, Fryums, Clarified butter and Pickle”
“Neki aur pooch pooch” – A phrase in Hindi which is used when you are offered something you want very badly, and it was totally unexpected by you.
Uff uff mirchi, hai hai mirchi, uff uff mirchi……” – A famous song from the movie “Biwi No.1”
Dahi – thick plain fresh yogurt
Ghee – clarified butter
Bihar – a State in India famous for Laloo Prasad Yadav!!
Mirchi – firm red ripe variety of red chillies.
Performing a jig – creating a quake and loosening the foundations in general!
Hogs – who else but the Sunshine family trio of Pa, Ma and Jr.H! Jr.P is not much of a pickle person…not yet, at least:)


Other ‘Reds’ on TONGUE TICKLERS…… – Please CLICK here

Another pickle? – Tomato Pickle / Tomato Thokku (Vegan)
Another powder? – Tengai Podi / Coconut Powder
How about a chutney? – Pudina / Mint Chutney
Thogayal (lentil chutney) too? -Paruppu Thogayal / Lentil Chutney

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Have your say

  1. I like the left most one in last row of Collage!! Its a great entry and omg, i dint know we can do this with mirchi…we do it slightly differently and pickle it!

  2. Thanks for ur sweet comment on my blog SM. I will definitely be back soon. the pickle looks so authentic and yummy. Lovely pics. πŸ™‚


  3. Why don’t i have a friend who send me these fiery delicious pickle.
    They just look so yumm.
    I drooled from the begning of the post while reading them and when i was by the end of post, i was drooling like a baby πŸ˜‰

  4. red hot πŸ™‚
    excellent pictures πŸ™‚

  5. OMG!!! I am droo….ling. I can almost imagine the taste of this pickle now. What do I have to do to get them move in as my neighbours???

  6. I love this,dear.But looking at the A B C D ingredients,will buy it πŸ˜› .I believe you,its too tempting and ‘HOT HOT HOT’ :P.Dearie I love all the pics,and believe the last one is perfect for Click-Red,its upto you.

  7. AHHHHH!!!!! I felt the heat! πŸ˜€

    I have a jar of green chillies pickle, store bought but it has more vinegar than chilli taste. I love the color of your chilli pickle. Good one! πŸ™‚

  8. Mahimaa's kitchen

    wow.. awesome pickle. wud love it with curd rice. i am bad at making pickles πŸ™‚

  9. Wow wat a spicy post yaa…i just love the way they r prepared n conserved…am a spicy lover n am just drooling over rite now…wish i could live now in India..just missing all these spicy homemade goodies..

  10. My! What a post!And what snaps! Great of you to share this authentic recipe Harini! But are these chilies fresh ones? Available at the green grocer’s? Or are they the dried whole ones … the big ones?
    I too would love to have the masala with hot steamed rice. πŸ™‚

  11. Believe me I was really drooling seeing the lovely pics… now I am nostalgic too hmmm!!!

  12. You are one lucky lady, I must say, with all these fantastic chefs par excellance as neighbourhood ‘aunties’!! The pictures are fantastic.

  13. i love pickles and these look mouth watering…a big thanks to u and them for sharing the recipe:)

  14. Hello Hello Hello I am coming down, for u have set me salivating. Just after i read that u squeeze out the masala to eat with hot rice, it started, for I do the same..(only got to eat that many suns back) ah! that masala with the heat of the mustard oil.
    This is the only pickle my hubby will eat.So when we go to jaipur, the chowk is spread red with the mirchi s to dry & my MIL makes them.
    oh dumb us living here….so far away from these simple pleasures of life:-)

  15. Wow those pickles look really hot and spicy, loved the color and how sweet of your friends to share their recipe ….

  16. Masala stuffed chilli pickle.. absolutely droolworthy… I remember having yummy chilli pickle from Lucknow.

  17. wow, that looks amazing, we at home are quite fond of all kinds of pickles, But I have never had lal mirch ka achar ..

  18. Ooh, you’re tempting us too much Harini! Not fair having that whole pickle to yourself! So mouth-watering and fiery red! Yum! I remember seeing that song in Biwi No.1! Nice one. Thanks for the pictorial of pickle making process. I like first or last pic for click!

  19. I absolutely LOVE this achaar!One of the things I missed the most when we moved from Delhi to Bombay, I used to make anyone visiting us from Delhi, bring this for me πŸ™‚ since we could not get the authentic tasting ones anywhere in Bombay!

    A very nice post Harini, although I dont know if I have the time & energy to attempt this one πŸ™‚

    BTW, I like the very first pic in the post, for CLICK. It made me drool….:)

  20. You literally had me drooling right from the beginning of the post. By the end I could almost taste the pickle in my mouth. Just loved your creative writing.

    I don’t get these chillies here to try them out. I will hv to be satisified trying with the green ones.

  21. Aren’t pickle giving friends the bestest you’d ever have!! And the first pic for click…awesome pickle, though I wonder if I’ll ever make it!

  22. Great stuff….appreciate you blogging it so well.It looks so amazing and am sure must be yummy..Ahhh hot and lovely!

  23. Oh boy! That is such a lovely picture… Sorry but couldn’t help noticing it πŸ˜‰
    You should try sending it to the “Click-Red” event by Bee.

  24. what a great effort, all those pics and details make it look & sound doable and delicious.
    a big thank you to Sr & Jr. Mrs Jha and hats off to their spirit.
    A big hug to you for posting this

  25. Uff uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuffff! real spicy pickle. God! mirchi in the most sizzling hot avatar :-)Nice post n gr8 clicks.

  26. Thank you everyone for the heartwarming words, and the suggestions too – now I am back to where I started but first one got more votes, so I will just go by that:)

    Sahaja, the one you said is not my click:)

    Jayashree, I suggest you move here.

    Sweatha, this one is worth the effort but I understand what you mean! I am still wondering which one for click!

    Sharmila, these are the fresh ones not the huge dry red chillies.

    Soma, I know! Sometimes nothing can replace home:)

    Anu, I wanted to know which one to send!!

  27. Harini, This recipe is tempting. Your pcitures are mind blowing. Beautiful click, wish i get some for having with curd rice.

  28. I recently bought this pickle from the store and am regretting it…this recipe comes in time to counter it….

  29. mouth watering indeed

  30. So much for multi tasking!! I was seeing the comments when my daughter came up with a math problem, and I rejected these two comments by mistake!! Sorry!!

    bee has left a new comment on your post “Uff uff mirch, hai hai mirchi……!”:

    what a fascinating process!!! thanks for the click entry.

    Alka has left a new comment on your post “Uff uff mirch, hai hai mirchi……!”:

    Nahin (cut short left profile) Nahin(cut short right profile) Nahin (cut short over the head profile)Nahin(cut short front profile)…remember Balaji’s melodramatic operas….
    Yeh nahin ho sakta……
    U know wht ,i thinks u r God’s chosen one….why? coz otherwise why the hell only u have such neighbours and friends who share such yummy food with u
    Humare bhaagya mein aisa kyon nahi hai???

    Bee, yes it is!!

    Alka, he he he:)

  31. Ssssss!!!! mast Pickle. Its really mouth watering. In Marathi we call such neighbour as “Sakhkhe Shejari” i.e True neighbour. I must say U r very lucky.

  32. wonderful pics and so yummy looking…i love these with aloo parathas. there’s this restaurant in bangalore that used to sell most of the pickles they served there. Got many bottles of lal mirch ka achaar from there, simply heavenly !!

  33. I whole heartedly agree with Alka,mere bhagya mein aisa nahin hain.

  34. Oh H not fair u make us jealous now… To have such treasure in ur neighbhood… We can never replicate here… lack of chilis πŸ™

  35. Khaugiri, Sahi!! Mine falls under that category!

    Sweatha, Alka, shaayad aap log neighbour ke bachchon ko kahani nahi sunate ho!!

    Cham, I know you would love this one as it is really spicy! Cute profile pic – sexy!!

  36. You are not only making to drool over the pictures,but making my mouth water,seriously! Could imagine how great it might be tasting!!!

  37. uff! Mirchi..I have tasted this hot hot pickle at a friend’s place and can imagine its taste. Thanks for posting the recipe H.

  38. real mouthwatering as you said with hot rice i have a bihari friend but she makes this with green chilies and uffff love the recipe now iam going to try this with red chilies thanks for the recipe

  39. Jayashree Mudaliar

    I’m making this for sure….:) Amazingggggggggggg πŸ™‚

  40. Harini…love those achaars…my dad loves them too…my paternal aunt is from Bihar…she used to bring this wth her whenever she visited her mom’s place..i love it n its not all that hot. green ones are hotter.

    hve bookmarked this recipe…how i wish i cud hve it right away!

  41. Hi Sunshinemom,..thnks for postin this, grndmother use d to prepare this,..nd now same is done by my mom,..i knw this one is hot,..suits the title,…/
    :-)ceeya soon hppy bloggin,..:-)

  42. I used to love this achaar, a neighborhood auntie would make this and we always got our fair share

  43. Harini, I’m so envious of your great friends. This achaar is to die for, and I love love love the vibrant picture.

  44. Ashwini Kenchanna

    Love achars..OHHHH hot mirchi….looks lovely..very inviting and tempting to taste..

  45. Just ogling at the hot mirchi is melting me,you sure are blessed to have such wonderful people make jars of spicy pickles for ya:)

  46. Whoa, hot hot hot..I have tasted this long back, and absolutely love it..Nice Click..

  47. I bought red chillies on sunday, maybe this is what I have to make πŸ™‚

    BTW, does this work for FIC: Yellow. If it does, I shall link it up to your event πŸ™‚


  48. I love pickles and this one is new to me. I don’t think I have seen these red chillies in the market. But I’ll take your word for how good it is. I can already feel my mouth watering!
    But I do like those pickles made with less spicy green chillies and mustard. I just have to find a recipe.

    I also liked your description of Bihar.:)

  49. Gorgeous red! The pickle looks so tasty and yummy. One really shouldn’t blog hop on an empty stomach. Love the pictures.

  50. mirchi ka achaar looks fantastic! hamaare ghar pe bhi ye har winter bantha tha – mum bahuth pickles banaathi hai. hum bahuth pickles khaatein hein hehehe… unfortunately this red mirchi is available only in the north and not in kerala isliyΓ© ab hum iskΓ© sapne dΓ©khthe hain πŸ™ i was hoping yahan dubai mein mil jayΓ© then πŸ˜‰ i can carry back on flight and mumcan stillmake them hehehhe how devious! but lovely lovely! and thanks for sharing the recipe! to your friends too.

  51. These ladies are very skilled, what a great in-depth tutorial; it all does look very drool-worthy :)!

  52. Back in hostel (approx 15 yrs back, we used to get crappy dal (tuvar dal) and we used to spice it up by mixing the masala of this mirchi achar and eating with rice or roti…Now, I purposely mix this with dal and enjoy the whole prep. Thanks for the recipie. Very neat…

  53. Hi! You have forgotten one important ingredient mustard seeds. You can not make Red chilly pickle without this.

  54. Prabha, this recipe is from an accomplished cook from Bihar and mustard seeds are not used in the recipe traditionally. I can understand however, that you may be using it at home. These things can vary from house to house.

  55. you have not mentioned when kalonji had to be mixed

  56. I am sorry, the detail was missed. I have corrected it now. Thank you for bringing it to my notice.

  57. i have read in other receipes for making mirchi achar they use sarso powder but u do not use it why if it is to be used which saso yellow or brown

  58. apvindersingh sikand

    You are also not using haldi. is it optional

  59. I followed this recipe and made this pickle. Made some for friends too. Really tasty recipe. Love love love the pickle. My husband is a big fan of this pickle.
    The only change i made was used olive oil instead of mustard oil.

    thank you for the recipe.

  60. Thanks for leaving the feedback, Kalpana! So glad to know that my favourite pickle has found fans beyond our home. πŸ™‚

  61. sounds and looks delicious. Just off to try it out!!!

  62. Can we make aam ka achar with the same ingredents… plzzz tell the procedure of makng aam ka achaar

  63. Arshi, I prefer the South Indian style mango pickle but I will make some North Indian style aam ka achaar and past soon. The method is quite different.

  64. Ok thanks?….achaa here at my place i dnt get ths red chily…can i make wid the same ingredents wit green chily…size of da chily is same bt color is green… plz reply

  65. Traditionally only red chillies are used and I haven’t tried it myself but I see no reason why you shouldn’t try it. Start with a small quantity and do let me know how it goes. πŸ™‚

  66. Can we buy from u please. I want homemade red chilly pickle. Pls send ur contact details

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