Green apple pachadi

green apple pachadi | apple curry

The sweet and sour pachadi is a recipe I have seen my mother-in-law make during the New Year festival ( like (Vishu or Pongal) or the annual remembrance festival ( thevasam). Usually made with raw mangoes this pachadi, which resembles a jam-like consistency is a house favourite, especially for my brother-in-law.
Living further away from India, where the seasons work upside-down, it is impossible to get fresh mangoes in autumn. Raking my brain for a workaround, came up with an easy solution. Sour green apples. These apples have always been my favourite substitute for everything a raw mango does. You can make a few different Indian recipes with them. These are the two that we have written about previously.

Instant apple pickle and

Green apple chutney

Hope you enjoy these too.

Ingredients for this green apple pachadi

The apple pachadi is a twist on the classic raw mango pachadi. Still tastes the same.

Green apples: The sour green apples are a key part of this recipe. I use granny smith apples for this recipe. Now, the bigger green apples are sweeter, without much sourness than the smaller ones. So I tend to use the smaller ones. Depending on your locality,  you may have other varieties of sour apples available. If so try them, the sourer the better!

Tamarind: Since the original recipe is made with raw mangoes it is quite enough to provide the sourness. However, the green apples don’t quite reach there, so it is compensated by adding the tamarind pulp. A tablespoon of instant tamarind pulp or about 1/4 cup of diluted extract will be enough.

Jaggery: though the apples are slightly sweeter the jaggery adds that classic flavour and stickiness to the recipe.

Seasonings and spices: No masala mixes or curry powders are needed for this recipe. It is only the basic salt, turmeric and chilli powder that is used. Depending on the heat leaves you can have bydigai for colour or the spicy red chilli powder.  For the tempering, you need whole cumin seeds, curry leaves and dry red chillies (serrano).

Neem flowers: if making this for Ugadhi, the neem flowers are a must-use ingredient. I love to keep some dried needed flowers in my pantry that I use for rasam or making podis. These are tiny flowers and dry to a soft dry texture. They have the fragrance of neem and are bitter. These are fried in ghee quickly to avoid burning.

Ghee or oil: the major part of the curry is oil-free. The tempering is the only one that uses ghee or coconut oil. This depends on which flavour you like better or your dietary choices.

Let’s make apple curry

Prepping the green apples: once you have chosen the sourer crisper apples, is fairly easy. Wash and core the apples and slice them as wedges. Leave the peel on as it adds a bit of bite to the pachadi when it is cooked down.

Extracting the tamarind pulp: soak the dried tamarind in warm water for about half an hour. Then crush it using your fingers, rubbing it well. Strain and set aside the liquid.

Making Jaggery syrup: the jaggery cubes are crushed and added to water at a ratio of 1: 0.5. So add half a cup of water to the cup of jaggery. Once the jaggery dissolves, bring it to a slow boil. Skim the bubbles that appear on the surface as that has the impurities. Once the jaggery syrup had started boiling, remove it from the heat. Strain through a metal strainer, to remove any sand particles and set it aside.

Cooking the pachadi: In a pot,  add the prepped apples with tamarind water, salt and turmeric powder. As it starts boiling add the red chilli powder and mix well. Let the apple wedges cook till fork tender. Now add the jaggery syrup and cook it down till it firms a sticky flowing consistency. The pachadi thickens as it sits and cools.

Tempering the pachadi: in a separate pan heat the ghee, add the jeera and chillies as it heats up. Once they sizzles remove them from heat and add the neem flowers. Pour this mix over the hot pachadi. Stir well and keep it covered for 5 to 10 minutes.

green apple pachadi curry recipe

Is there a difference in the pachadi made for Thevasam and Ugadhi?

Actually, there is. The sweet and sour pachadi made for ugadhi has a mix of flavours sweet, sour, salty, bitter, spicy and astringent. This comes from jaggery, apple and tamarind, salt, neem flowers, chillies and asafoetida. This is based on the higher concept of life and accepting life experiences with a balance. Whereas the one made for thevasam (annual remembrance festival) does not include the bitterness. The difference is made just in the tempering. The tempering for the pachadi made during ugadhi has jeera, red chilli and dried neem flowers. The one for the thevasam avoids the neem flowers. Though a very minute difference the flavours change it a bigger much.

How to serve green apple pachadi?

Green apple pachadi is a sweet and sour side dish that is served on the top right corner of the banana leaf meal. It is just a tablespoon served initially and replenished later if you like it. I love to have this pachadi leftovers with phulkas or alu paratha too.

Meal prep and storage

This apple pachadi is fairly easy to keep for a week. Ensure that it is cooled and reduced to that jam-like consistency before you store it. My frozen batch thaws pretty well too. So should stay good for a month in the freezer. To store use food-grade glass jars in the refrigerator with a tight lid. For the freezer, I use food-grade plastic boxes. When removing the required quantities ensure that you have a clean dry spoon and do not dip your finger in it as it will spoil faster that way.

Is this a vegan recipe?

The basic recipe for this curry is vegan. It is the tempering that is done in ghee that needs to be avoided. The perfect swap is coconut oil which makes the recipe vegan.

Can I make this recipe oil-free?

Actually, you can. Instead of tempering, you can dry roast the jeera, curry leaf and chillies. To this mix add the neem flowers and give it a good stir to crisp up. Add this mix to the pachadi that is just off the stove and keep covered for 5 minutes, then mix. This will be the best way to get the green apple curry oil free.

Green apple pachadi

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Preserves, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian, South indian
Servings 8 people


  • deep pot


  • 4 medium green apple
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste or 1/2 cup fresh tamarind extract
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder

For Jaggery syrup

  • 3 cubes jaggery as syrup
  • 1 cup drinking water

For tempering

  • 1 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 pinch Asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp neem flowers
  • 1-2 dry red chillies


  • Soak the jaggery cubes in water.
  • Once the jaggery is dissolved, boil the liquid.
  • Remove the bubbles that float on top.
  • Strain it and set it aside till needed.
  • Wash and core the apples.
  • Slice as wedges.
  • Add his to a deep pot, add the tamarind paste, turmeric powder, salt and water.
  • Bring this to a boil.
  • Once boiled, add red chilli powder and jaggery syrup.
  • Let this boil and cook down.
  • Once it forms the dropping consitency, remove it off the heat.
  • To a small separate pan, add the ghee followed by cumin, dry red chillies.
  • When the cumin sizzles add the asafoetida and neem flowers.
  • Add the hot mix to the bubbling pachadi.
  • Cover and leave it for 10 minutes.
  • Mix well and serve.
Keyword curry recipes, festival offerings, Indian vegetarian dinner
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Making an apple curry as a side dish did not feature in my culinary repertoire. After making it I am quite blown away by the versatility of these green apples and also by the similarity of its flavour to mango pachadi. If you are out of mangoes, do give this pachadi a try and let us know how much you like it in the comments.
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green apple pachadi for ugadi

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Ros @ WeTriniFood
3 months ago
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Oh waw this looks amazing! I had no idea neem flowers were used in Indian cooking. Definitely learned something new here. Thanks for sharing.

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