Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Achar Rangbiranga - Fresno Chili Pickle

Last Sunday I felt like I graduated some level in Indian home cooking.. when I spent a couple of hours making Aachar (Indian Pickle) with my MIL. This Fresno chili achaar recipe comes from my hubby's grandma - or my MIL's MIL :-)

This time I have a video story - I simply love this bollywood song for Bachhan Jr's dance and Vahida Rehman's graceful dadi.. I think Genda Phool captures a typical achar making party like no other song.

Flashback - 15-20 years ago.. My mom with her friends in the apartment would spend weekends in summer making a variety of pickles and papads for the whole year. Each one of them had their specialty - Patil-kaku would add khandeshi spices, Aai would add authentic Puneri spices and Khandekar kaku would add spices from Indore. It was a fun, productive girls' day out that ended in recipe exchange and a potluck (they din't call it potluck).

So behold readers.. I proudly present.. my first achar recipe, post number 75...(drum roll).......

Achar Rangbiranga

Source: MIL's MIL

Time: It takes time alright - 4-5 hrs total

Should last for a couple of months for a family of 4

  • 4 cups oil
  • 40 Fresno Peppers or 20 Fresno and 20 Banana Peppers
    Note from MIL for readers from Pune - you will find these chilies in the market around January. These peppers are commonly found in North India.
  • 200 grams coriander powder
  • Salt - need a lot - to taste
  • 3 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp hing/asafoetida
  • Juice of 4-6 lemons
Remove the stem and top portion of the peppers carefully. Keep the top part in tact as shown in the picture. Slit the peppers vertically without completely cutting them into two halves.

For the filling, add salt to taste to the coriander powder. Heat a couple of tbsp oil in a pan and add it to the coriander powder. Mix well till you can form a lump of the coriander powder as shown.

Stuff the peppers completely with this mixture and keep aside.

Heat 4 cups of oil in a large pan and when it reaches smoking point (test with a mustard seed), add asafoetida and turmeric powder. Turn the heat off and add the stuffed peppers to the hot oil one pepper at a time. Each pepper should get a nice bath of oil.

Cover the pan and let this mixture cool down for a couple of hours. Add lemon juice to the mixture and stir the pickle. Store in an air-tight jar.

In a day or two the peppers will soak in most of the oil. Just this one time, heat another cup of oil, add asafoetida and turmeric, cool down the mixture and add to the pickle.

Here comes the most difficult part - WAIT for a week!! before the pickle is ready for you to taste. But trust me the taste is worth every minute of the wait.


  1. Totally awesome, such a simple recipe. And the end result is so good. When can I come over to try a second round of this? ;)

  2. We made plenty of it this time.. as a thanksgiving give away :) It will be in perfect condition on girls' day out. :)

  3. :) pathavin aata - Ganga ulati vahatiye..

  4. I haven't tried making it (yet...) but I had some from the source and man is it good!

  5. Thank you Jeremy.. let me know how it turns out when you try it.