Bharvaan Laal Mirchi ka Achaar: Stuffed Red Chilli Pickle

Red Chile Pepper
Adam Gault OJO Images -- Getty Images
  • 35 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 50 servings
Ratings (53)

This pickle from North India's state of Uttar Pradesh sounds fiery but it is a classic case of more bark than bite! The best part is, it is easy to make, as you are basically creating a masala and then stuffing the peppers. After sitting in a jar in the sun for about a week, you have spicy (but not too hot) pickled peppers to enjoy as a snack or alongside a meal.

The end of this recipe calls for asafetida--a gum that is from the sap of the roots of a giant fennel. It is sold in brick form as well as a powder. It has a foul odor, similar to that of sulfur or rotting onions but when cooked takes on the flavor of onion. Although not native to India it has been used in Indian cooking (and medicine) for ages. 

What You'll Need

  • 2 1/4 lbs. (1 kg.) large red chilies
  • 5 dry red chilies
  • 3 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp. aniseed or fennel seeds
  • 8 to 10 tbsp. mustard powder
  • 1/4 cup raw mango powder
  • 1 cup salt
  • Juice of 5 limes
  • 2 cups mustard oil
  • 1 tsp. asafetida

How to Make It

  1. Wash and thoroughly dry the large red chilies. Trim the stems. Slit the chilies up to just under the stem--do not cut right through them. Scoop out all the inner flesh and seeds and discard. (Oil your hands a bit before you do this and you'll save yourself from the chili burn!)
  2. Roast the dry red chilies, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and aniseed or fennel seeds over low heat. Cool and grind in a food processor until coarse.
  1. Add the mustard powder, raw mango powder and salt. Add the lime juice to this mix to make a thick paste.
  2. Stuff each chili well with the paste.
  3. Put the chilies in a dry, wide-mouthed glass pickling jar (the glass should be able to withstand hot temperatures).
  4. Heat the mustard oil in a pan and when very hot add the asafetida and immediately turn off the heat.
  5. Pour this oil over the chilies in the jar.
  6. Seal the jar and keep it in the sun for a week to 10 days. The longer you keep it out in the sun the better the pickle tastes. Shake gently each day to make sure the oil coats the chilies well.
  7. Serve with plain chapati (flatbread) or rice.