Easy Indian Garlic Pickle Recipe

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Indian garlic pickle is a delicious spicy relish made with garlic cloves, oil, and a variety of spices. It is often used as a condiment in Indian cuisine, and is typically served alongside main dishes such as rice, lentils, or curries. The aroma of the pickle is strong and pungent, with the distinct smell of garlic and the warm, spicy notes of the added spices. The flavor is bold and assertive, with a sharp, garlicky taste that is balanced by the sweetness of the oil and the complexity of the spices. The strong flavor of the pickle is a great complement to the rich, savory flavors of Indian cuisine, and adds an extra layer of flavor and depth to a variety of dishes.

Indian garlic pickle

Indian garlic pickle, also known as lahsun ka achaar in north India, is a popular condiment in Indian cuisine. You can serve Indian pickles, including garlic pickle, as a side dish with rice dishes such as curd rice or with breads like aloo paratha. They are also a common accompaniment to daily meals in many parts of India. Some people believe that garlic pickles possess numerous health benefits, including the ability to lower cholesterol levels and regulating blood pressure and blood sugar.

There are many variations of the garlic pickle recipe, with some variations including the use of green chilies, curry leaves, and other whole spices. Some recipes also call for the addition of brown sugar or other sweeteners to balance out the spiciness. Indian garlic pickle is also readily available at Indian stores, either in the form of ready-made pickles or as a mix of powdered spices to make the pickle instantly.

Making garlic pickles at home is not difficult and can be a fun activity. It is important to use fresh garlic and good-quality spices and to store the pickle in a clean, dry container at room temperature or in a dark, dry place. Always use a clean, dry spoon to scoop out the pickle, as using a wet spoon can spoil the pickle. It is also better to use glass or ceramic jars instead of plastic jars for storing the pickle, as they allow the pickle to breathe and enhance its flavor. It is a good idea to make small quantities of the pickles at a time, as it tastes best when it is fresh.

History of Indian Garlic Pickle

Indian garlic pickle

It is difficult to trace the exact history of Indian garlic pickles, as pickling has been a common method of preserving food in many cultures for centuries. However, pickles have been an integral part of Indian cuisine for a long time, and garlic pickle is a popular condiment in many parts of India.

In India, pickles were traditionally made by marinating vegetables or fruits in a mixture of oil, spices, and salt. The complete immersion of a carbohydrate rich fruit or vegetable in oil creates an anaerobic environment that allows natural fermentation to take place. This fermented mixture acts as a preservative and helps extend the shelf life of the pickle.


Indian garlic pickle


Garlic is the main ingredient in the pickle and adds a pungent and sharp flavor to the pickle.


Spices such as mustard seeds, fennel seeds, and red chili powder add flavor and heat to the pickles.


Salt enhances the overall flavor of the pickle.


Use gingelly or sesame oil to make South Indian-style garlic pickles. It preserves the pickle and also adds a rich and savory flavor.


South Indian pickles have a tangy flavor from deseeded dried tamarind.

Step By Step Instructions To Make Garlic Pickles

First, peel 2 cups (0.47 l) of garlic (small-sized), and cut the large ones lengthwise.

Indian garlic pickle

Then take dried red chilies and dry roast them for a while.

Indian garlic pickle

Grind the dried red chilies and tamarind pieces in a dry blender and set aside 

Indian garlic pickle

Heat ½ cup gingelly oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and when they pop, add the peeled garlic and fry them on medium flame until they turn soft and golden and have shrunken to half the volume.

Indian garlic pickle

Add ground red chili and tamarind powder and mix well. Let it cook for 5 minutes and keep stirring.

Then add salt to taste

Indian garlic pickle

You can optionally add turmeric too at this point.

Now mix it all well until it looks well combined.

When the mixture comes together, switch off the flame and let the pickle cool down. Store in a clay pot or glass jar.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the Indian garlic pickle as a condiment with rice dishes or breads alongside tomato chutney or onion chutney.

Mix the pickles into yogurt or sour cream to create a flavorful dip.

Toss them with cooked lentils or beans for added flavor.

Use them as a topping for grilled or roasted meats and vegetables.

Stir it into soups, chutneys, curries, or any Indian meal for an extra burst of flavor.

Serve the Indian garlic pickle alongside chaat or other Indian street foods.

Storage Suggestions For Indian Garlic Pickle:

Indian garlic pickle

Place the Indian garlic pickle in a clean and sterilized jar with a tight-fitting lid.

Make sure to leave a small amount of space at the top of the jar to allow for expansion.

Pour a small amount of oil over the top of the pickle to help preserve it.

Close the lid tightly and store the jar in the refrigerator.

The pickle will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.

You can also freeze the pickle for longer storage. To do so, place the jar in the freezer and thaw it in the refrigerator when you are ready to use it.

Indian Garlic Pickle Recipe

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Recipe by Ravi Kumar and Qintarah Khan Course: PicklesCuisine: Indian, South IndianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • Garlic-2 cups (small-sized, peeled)

  • Tamarind, lemon sized, deseeded.

  • Dry red chilies

  • Mustard seeds-1tsp

  • Gingelly oil 1/2 cup

  • Salt 2 tsp


  • Peel 2 cups of garlic (small-sized), and cut the large ones lengthwise.
  • Grind the dried red chilies and tamarind pieces in a dry blender and set aside
  • Heat ½ cup gingelly oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and when they pop, add the peeled garlic pods and fry them in medium flame until soft and golden and have shrunken to half the volume.
  • Add salt and ground red chili and tamarind powder and mix well. Let it cook for 5 minutes and keep stirring.
  • When the mixture comes together Switch off the flame and let the pickle cool down, store in a clay pot or glass jar.

Recipe Video

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you store Indian garlic pickle?

Indian garlic pickle should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last for several months when stored properly.

Can Indian garlic pickle be made without oil?

Yes, it is possible to make Indian garlic pickle without oil. To do so, you can steam or boil the garlic until it is soft, then mix it with the spices and salt. Alternatively, you can omit the oil and use vinegar or lemon juice instead.

Is Indian garlic pickle spicy?

Indian garlic pickle can be made with varying levels of spiciness, depending on the amount of red chili powder used. You can adjust the spiciness to your preference by using more or less chili powder.

Is Indian garlic pickle vegan?

Indian garlic pickle can be vegan if it is made without the use of animal-derived ingredients such as ghee (clarified butter). To make a vegan version, you can use oil or vinegar instead of ghee.

Is Indian garlic pickle gluten-free?

Indian garlic pickle is typically gluten-free, as it is made with only garlic and spices. However, it is always a good idea to check the label on any store-bought versions to ensure that they do not contain any gluten-containing ingredients.

Can Indian garlic pickle be frozen?

Indian garlic pickle can be frozen, although the texture may change slightly after being thawed. To freeze Indian garlic pickle, transfer it to a freezer-safe container and store it in the freezer for up to six months. To use, thaw the pickle in the refrigerator and use it as you would fresh pickle.

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Hi! I’m Ravi Kumar.

I am a husband, father of 4, board certified neurosurgeon, and a lover of South Indian Food!

I created PaattisKitchen.com to memorialize the most delicious foods on earth. South Indian food is easy to make and hard to mess up. So pull up your sleeves, and come with me as we explore the vibrant spices, colors, aromas, and flavors of South Indian culinary tradition.

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