Instant garlic pickle

Instant Garlic pickle with achar masala

Check out this South Indian-style garlic pickle that tastes amazing from the very day you make it. Avoid the wait time and add this to your meals and lunch boxes to bring that punch of flavour with minimal effort.

An Indian meal is often deemed incomplete if there is not a tiny amount of pickle on the side of the plate. This pickle serves as a quick revival for the tastebuds, a flavour enhancer or at times useful to balance the spice levels depending on the varied amounts to personal taste. This is “achar”, simply meaning pickle. 

   One of the basic ingredients I use least in my cooking is garlic. A bulb or two that I buy stays for a few months. I love to think that I conveniently forgot about them. The only time they come out is predominantly when I make spicy spaghetti. The reduced entry of garlic in my kitchen has to be attributed to the fact that mum and mother-in-law, did not use it in their cooking. Of late, I have been deliberately trying a bit more. The best way we consume a bit more is to have it as a pickle as the achar masala takes away the blunt spiciness of that garlic.

How to choose garlic?

Garlic, Allium sativum, is a medicinally valuable bulb from the onion family. These white scaly bulbs are used in traditional medicine and in modern medicine dur to thwir anti fungal, anti bacterial proerties along with the ability to reduce cholestrol and hypertention.

The freshest garlic for the season hits the maket mid summer. It is best to pick up these from teh farmers markets if you have garlic fields near by. the scaly leves on the bulbs are actualy great to be seen if you are a culinary enthusist than the nylon bag packed that you see in the super chain markets. if you press on a bulb gently, they are actually firm. If they are squishy or hollow, dont buy it. A good vendor will break open one to show you how fresh and intact these pods are ( advantages of local markets). Hope you enjoy teh experinec of picking up some good garlic. 

The achar masala 

This instant garlic pickle recipe is branched off a basic achar masala that my mother uses to pickle almost any fresh ingredient that she grows. The main ingredients of her basic achar masala are- rock salt,  seed removed dry red chillies pounded to achieve the coarse texture and coarsely powdered yellow mustard. To this she adds asafoetida for some, curry leaves in some cases. This is almost the same mix we have used along with fenugreek  in Menthiya manga oorugai ( Mango fenugreek pickle)

The best pointers to get this pickle perfect.

There are a few things I noticed that get this garlic pickle a perfect 10.

  • Get fresh garlic bulbs to prepare this pickle. The pre-peeled ones are ok, but the frozen ones really don’t work. The pickle gets spoilt and watery faster with the frozen pods as the ice that forms in the pods release a lot of water by cell damage.
  • If keeping for a few months, keep the entire amount of oil as this is the preservative. If not, separate out the oil as I have done in the video and use it as  garlic oil for your pizza or pasta.
  • I have used vinegar, you could use tamarind paste or lemon in this pickle. The measurements for each are in the recipe notes.
  • The giant garlic pods that I find here are the ones used in this pickle. The pickle will be pungent and tastier if you use the ones that have thinner, elongated garden garlic.
  • You can add a second layer of fragrance by tempering it with mustard, fenugreek and curry leaves after the pickle is made.
  • If the chilli is a bit too strong for you, add a pinch of jaggery while cooking the garlic.

Are you ready for the ingredients and measures?

garlic pickle with achar masala

Instant garlic pickle

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
peeling the garlic time 1 hour
Course Pickles, Traditional
Cuisine diabetic friendly, Fusion, gluten free, Indian, South indian, Vegan, Vegetarian


  • 2 whole garlic

Achar masala

  • 1 tbsp Rock salt
  • 2 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard (crushed)
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida

To make the achar.

  • 1/4 cup Sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup vinegar


  • Peel the garlic cloves.
  • Into a frying pan on medium heat add the oil.
  • As the oil warms up add the peeled garlic cloves and slow roast them.
  • Add some salt and let them brown it slightly.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Into the warm pan add the red chilli flakes, crushed mustard and asafoetida.
  • Slow roast this in the pan for a few minutes.
  • Add the roasted garlic with oil and salt and mix it well.
  • Now add the garlic and mix well.
  • Remove from heat, let the pickle cool.
  • Store the pickle in an airtight jar in the refrigerator.
    Instant Garlic pickle with achar masala



If you are using tamarind pulp: 1 tsp of tamarind paste instead of the vinegar.
If you are using lemon juice: stir in a tbsp of lemon juice to the achar masala.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Here is a quick video link to this recipe from our you tube channel. 


Serving suggestions for the garlic pickle

In fact, the pickle is elusively tasty. The flavours actually get us to add a few pods to our plate each day. Though made with basic pickle ingredients,  this garlic pickle pairs fantastically with a South Indian meal, a roti dal platter or even some payaru kanji. The garlic oil is a phenomenal flavour to add to pasta, avakkai annam or quinoa soup.

More predominantly garlic-based recipes from our blog

Garlic greens crepes – If you are growing your own this is a handy recipe.

Spaghetti with garlic and chilli

Roasted tomatoes with garlic oil

Stay connected

We took a liking to this recipe that we are taking turns peeling the garlic and this is a loved chore of late. Thanks to the lockdown, no animals or people were harmed by the excessive garlic use (wink!! wink!!)unlike the Victorian eras! I am sure you will love the taste of this instant garlic pickle too. Try it even if you are not a huge garlic fan. It converted us and may convert you too.
Stay safe and keep in touch with us.

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Instant garlic pickle

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Priya Vj
1 year ago
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I have friends who love garlic pickle and they loved this garlic pickle recipe of yours a lot .

Mayuri Patel
1 year ago
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Wow, this is definitely mouth watering. Love any type of garlic chutney or pickle. With fresh garlic available now, will be making it.

11 months ago
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This came out so good Seema I had some fresh garlic from my garden on checking your recipe, and immediately tried it. We loved it some simple steamed rice and dal.

11 months ago
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the elder one who’s a huge fan of garlic would love to indulge this garlc pickle with thepla / paratha. bookmarked to try a small batch and the easy peasy pickle masala sounds so good !

Last edited 11 months ago by Kalyani
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