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Fresh Turmeric Pickle (Kachi Haldi Ka Achar)

A favorite condiment for Indian meals, Fresh Turmeric Pickle has an earthy-peppery flavor of turmeric roots and a tangy mouthwatering flavor from the lemons. The flavors get further elevated with spices and just the right amount of heat from fresh green chilies. With all the incredible flavors and health benefits this homemade pickle is easy to make and keeps for days. Traditionally served with hot parathas, curries, and rice, Haldi Ka Achar is also terrific in sandwiches and wraps.

haldi achaar in a glass jar

When my parents visited in the Summer of 2022, I was super excited to cook and learn a few traditional recipes from my mom. She makes amazing pickles and so learning how to make raw mango pickles and fresh turmeric pickles AKA Haldi Achar was on top of my list. Although the recipe is quite simple, the stories, techniques, and minute details on how and why things are done while pickling were enlightening.

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What is Raw Turmeric AKA Kachi Haldi

Fresh raw turmeric looks similar to organic ginger roots. They have thin light brown skin and vibrant orange flesh inside. With an earthy, citrusy, and brighter taste than dried turmeric powder, fresh turmeric has a lot of health benefits. They can be added to soups, curries, and teas and can be a star ingredient in pickles.

What is Amba Haldi

In South Asian grocery stores you will often find two types of raw turmeric:

1. Raw turmeric roots (Kachi Haldi in hindi) that are yellow-orange inside and

2. Mango ginger turmeric roots (Aamba haldi or Amba Haldar in hindi) that are white inside and hence also called white turmeric.

While I have used the yellow raw turmeric in this recipe, often both types of turmeric roots are used in equal amounts to make Haldi Achaar.

raw fresh turmeric on a cutting board

What is Achar

Achar or Achaar is a common word used for Indian pickles – a popular condiment served with South Asian food. Tangy, salt, spicy and sweet, they are a powerhouse of taste and flavor. Indian pickles are made using a variety of fruits (especially raw and tangy) as well as vegetables.

While pickles can be sweet, the more common ones are hot, spicy, and tangy. Most Indian pickles use spices such as mustard seeds and red chili powder while salt and oil are often added to preserve them. They tend to be potent in taste and a very small quantity is enough to elevate the flavor in a simple meal.

fresh turmeric pickle with green chilies in a glass jar

Ingredients

  • Fresh Turmeric Roots – are readily available in most US grocery stores and especially Indian grocery stores. They look similar to organic ginger roots and have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial health benefits
  • Green Chillies – long green chilies sold in Indian grocery stores are mildly spicy. They add a perfect heat level and crunchy texture. Make sure to buy fresh green chilies that are firm, and have green stems. The white seeds inside are also a good sign of freshness, as they get stale the seeds become brownish.
  • Split Mustard Seeds – a key ingredient in Indian pickles these yellow split mustard seeds are known as “Rai Kuria(Dal)” in Hindi or “Moharichi Dal” in Marathi.
  • Fenugreek Seeds – used in very small quantity these super healthy seeds adds a hint of bitter-sweet flavors
  • Lemon – fresh lemon juice adds tangy flavors and also helps preserve the pickle
ingredients for fresh turmeric pickle

How to Make Fresh Turmeric Pickle

  • Rinse and completely dry turmeric roots and green chilies. Peel turmeric roots and then dice them into small cubes.
  • De-stem the green chilies. Make a vertical slit in each, then cut them into small half-inch pieces.
how to prepare fresh turmeric and green chilies for achaar
  • In a medium frying pan, lightly roast mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds, just until they are hot to the touch. About 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Allow them to cool and then lightly crush them in a grinder.
roasted and ground split mustard seeds
  • Heat oil in a frying pan. Allow it to cool down until it’s warm. Add crushed mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, salt, and hing.
  • Add chopped turmeric, green chilies, and lemon juice to the pan.
  • Mix well. Allow it to cool down completely.
  • Store it in an airtight glass container.
steps five through eight showing how to make fresh turmeric pickle

Serving

Fresh Turmeric Pickle makes for a perfect accompaniment to Indian food. We love to serve it with roti and curry, Dal and Rice as well as Khichdi. I often add turmeric pickles to sandwiches, wraps, and homemade burgers.

Storing

Make sure to store the pickle in an airtight glass jar and in the refrigerator. Make sure to use a clean and dry spoon to take out the pickle. The pickle will stay good for 2 to 3 weeks refrigerated.

haldi achaar in a pan

Variations

  • I have used only fresh turmeric roots in this recipe. But you can also substitute half of the turmeric roots with fresh mango ginger (Curcuma Amada) also known as “Amba Haldi” or “Haldar”. You will find it in Indian grocery stores right alongside fresh turmeric roots.
  • Long Indian green chili can be substituted with fresh ginger or you can also add serrano or jalapeno peppers.
  • In this recipe, while my mom has cut the turmeric into small dice, sometimes she also cuts them into thin discs or grates them.
  • Don’t have split mustard seeds? Dry roast mustard seeds on a pan until they start to pop. Allow them to cool down and then pulse them a few times in a mixer grinder.
  • Traditionally in Northern India, Mustard oil is used to make pickles while in Southern India Sesame oil is used. I have used neutral avocado oil but feel free to switch to either mustard or sesame oil in this recipe.

Tips For Making Fresh Turmeric Pickle

  1. Wipe dry turmeric as well as green chilies to remove any moisture. This will give the pickle longer shelf life.
  2. Wear gloves when peeling and chopping the turmeric roots to prevent your hands from getting yellow stains. Also, use a darker color cutting board.
  3. Lightly roast fenugreek seeds making sure that they do not brown to prevent the bitter taste.
  4. Make sure to heat the oil and then cool it down to room temperature before adding it. Heating the oil will remove any bacteria from raw oil and also helps improve the shelf life of the pickle.
  5. Store the pickle in an airtight glass jar and in the refrigerator. Use a clean and dry spoon to take out the pickle. The pickle will stay good for 2 to 3 weeks refrigerated.

Recipe

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Turmeric Green Chilli Pickle | Haldi Ka Achar

Mom’s recipe – turmeric pickle made using raw turmeric, green chili, spices, lemon juice and oil

Prep Time30 mins

Cook Time15 mins

Total Time45 mins

Course: Side Dish

Cuisine: Indian

Servings: 10

Calories: 146kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Rinse and completely dry turmeric roots and green chilies. Peel turmeric roots and then dice them into small cubes. Note: use disposable kitchen gloves to prevent the fingers from staining and use a darker cutting board.

  • De-stem the green chilies. Make a vertical slit in each, then cut them into small half-inch pieces.

  • In a medium frying pan, lightly roast mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds, just until they are hot to the touch. About 2 to 3 minutes. Allow them to cool and then lightly crush them in a grinder.

  • Heat oil in a frying pan. Allow it to cool down until it’s lukewarm or at room temperature. Add crushed mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, salt, and hing

  • Add chopped turmeric, green chilies, and lemon juice to the pan. Mix well. Allow it to cool down completely and then store it in an airtight glass container

Notes

  1. Wipe dry turmeric as well as green chilies to remove any moisture. This will give the pickle longer shelf life.
  2. Wear gloves when peeling and chopping the turmeric roots to prevent your hands from getting yellow stains. Also, use a darker color cutting board.
  3. Lightly roast fenugreek seeds making sure that they do not brown to prevent the bitter taste.
  4. Make sure to heat the oil and then cool it down to room temperature before adding it. Heating the oil will remove any bacteria from raw oil and also helps improve the shelf life of the pickle.
  5. Store the pickle in an airtight glass jar and in the refrigerator. Use a clean and dry spoon to take out the pickle. The pickle will stay good for 2 to 3 weeks refrigerated.
Variations 
  • Substitute half of the turmeric roots with fresh mango ginger 
  • Substitute Indian green chili with fresh ginger, serrano, or jalapeno peppers.
  • Don’t have split mustard seeds? Dry roast mustard seeds on a pan until they start to pop. Allow them to cool down and then pulse them a few times in a mixer grinder.
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Nutrition

Calories: 146kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 728mg | Potassium: 766mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 12mg

Author: Archana

Hey there! I am a techie turned recipe developer, cooking instructor, and food blogger. I love food and enjoy developing easy and healthy recipes for busy lifestyles. I live in New Jersey with my husband and two sons.

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Source: Ministry of Curry
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