Bhara mirchi ka achaar ~ Stuffed chilli pickle

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 specifically “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 make this one.

I have once before expressed my weakness for V’s 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.

V called me a couple of weeks back to ask whether I would like a jar of my favourite pickle. Apparently A’s mom is here for good, and did not mind sharing her recipe at all. Get ready to get mesmerised by this age old and traditional method of pickling straight from the veteran’s hand.

Dig that!


The variety of red chillies required for making this pickle are the firm (not aged) ripe red ones available from January to March in India.

You will experience a burning sensation in your hands after the pickling that will remain for at least 3 to 4 days. If needed use latex gloves.

The pickle tastes best when consumed within a year.

Sterilised jars.

Recipe: Bhara lal mirch ka achaar | Whole stuffed red chilli pickle | Bihari style

Lal Mirchi | Big fresh red chillies – 3Kgs.

Ajwain | Carom seeds – 100g
Jeera | Cumin seeds – 100g
Saunf | Fennel seeds – 100g
Akkha sookkha lal mirch | Whole dried red chillies – 100g
Methi | Fenugreek seeds – 100g
Kalaunji | Nigella seedsI – 50g

Hing powder | Powdered asafoetida – 100g
Namak | Salt – 200g
Kala namak | Black salt – 100g
Amchur | Dry mango powder – 150g

Mustard oil – 1l
Synthetic white vinegar – 200ml


Wash the fresh red chillies and 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 under ‘B’ separately till each ingredient turns aromatic.

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 ingredients under D well till uniformly mixed. Warning – this can lead to severe burning sensation in your hands so rub a little oil before proceeding or use latex gloves.

Pour some oil and 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.

The pickle will then be ready for consumption.

The process

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

This mouthwatering pickle can be served with parathas or khichdi.

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”
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 food and local politics
Mirchi – firm red ripe variety of red chillies.


Harini is a vegan food photographer, writer and recipe developer. She also loves feeding birds, reading, watching crime thrillers, and travelling amongst other things.

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  • Gulnur

    As a Turkish who lived in India for almost like 3.5 years I can say that this pickle has always been my favorite comfort food.
    Sasu ma ki homemade pickle, chapati and some salt. I really miss that truly even now back in my home country

  • Maurine

    I made this today but I encountered a problem. After desseding and cutting the chillies i had to store them in the fridge since the masala had to be kept in sun for two days. After two days the chillies seemed a bit soggy and their flesh was falling apart. Is this going to affect the end product?

    • Harini

      Sorry, I haven’t been looking into the blog much and hence this extremely late reply!

      No, you need to make it the same day as when you deseed the chillies. I am sorry that wasn’t mentioned in the recipe as something to be made ahead. Will rectify it.

      Thank you.

  • Sonia

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

  • arshi

    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

    • Harini Prakash

      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™‚

  • arshi

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

    • Harini Prakash

      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.

  • priti

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

  • kalpana dave

    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.

    • Harini Prakash

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

  • apvindersingh sikand

    You are also not using haldi. is it optional

  • apvinder

    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

  • assikand

    you have not mentioned when kalonji had to be mixed

    • Harini

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

  • Sunshinemom

    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.

  • Prabha

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

  • resham

    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…

  • Sophie

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

  • Rajani

    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.

  • Bharti

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

  • Aparna

    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.:)

  • Raaga

    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™‚


  • Maya

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

  • Yasmeen

    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:)

  • Ashwini Kenchanna

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

  • Vaishali

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

  • Sandeepa

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

  • notyet100

    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,..:-)

  • Navita

    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!

  • Jayashree Mudaliar

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

  • rekhas kitchen

    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

  • LG

    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.


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

  • Sunshinemom

    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!!

  • Cham

    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™

  • Curry Leaf

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

  • Arch

    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 !!

  • Khaugiri

    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.

  • Sunshinemom

    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:)

  • Smitha

    mouth watering indeed

  • Rachel

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

  • vidhas

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

  • Sunshinemom

    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!!

  • Vij

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

  • delhibelle

    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

  • anudivya

    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.

  • Nithya Praveen

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

  • aquadaze

    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!

  • jayasree

    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.

  • bhagyashri

    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….:)

  • Uma

    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!


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

  • Laavanya

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

  • Usha

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

  • Soma

    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:-)

  • Keerthana

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

  • Dershana

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

  • Poonam

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

  • Sharmila

    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™‚

  • Priya

    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..

  • Mahimaa's kitchen

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

  • Asha

    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™‚

  • Curry Leaf

    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.

  • Jayashree

    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???

  • Indhu

    red hot πŸ™‚
    excellent pictures πŸ™‚

  • Happy cook

    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˜‰

  • Siri

    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™‚


  • Sahaja

    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!

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