Pickle masala rice | Avakkai annam

Pickle masala rice

The simplest of variety rice, spicy, tangy avakkai annam comes together in under 10 minutes. Adapted from Andhra cuisine, this pickle masala rice is one of our best picnic food ideas.

The student accommodation ( a long time ago) opened up a lot of food ideas for the finicky eater in me. When coming from holidays, we bring some homemade food to share and keep for a while. We bring chammadi podi and my Andhra-based friends bring huge bottles of avakkai. The bustling student mess (no food court) was a happy place when we all get just a bit of the pickle to go with the rice. Along with the pickle, we so learnt how to have the fiery tangy pickle without burning yourself all the way down! The recipe we have today is an adaptation of that technique that I have followed to date. Now, that explains why I love it too. thanks to the power of memories, each time we have Indian-style pickles, I always manage to make a small portion of avakkai annam too.

Ingredients for this pickle masala rice

Cooked rice– short grain ricecooked to perfection is what you need for this recipe. I find leftover rice best for mixed rice recipes as they are no longer sticky. If you are using freshly cooked rice, spread them out a bit so they cool before you mix so they don’t become mushy.

Spicy Indian pickle -so the pickle masala rice recipe relies on the spicy masala mix that has absorbed the tanginess of the mango, lemon or gooseberries to make them perfect. The first choice for this recipe is always avakkai, with the rich mustard-based thick paste that forms the masala. Any such variety of mango pickle, like menthiya manga oorugai or garlic pickle, works here. The pickles that you choose are the ones that do slow lactofermentation. The vinegar-based thin pickling is not ideal for this recipe. this recipe will not be tasty with the powdered pickle masala that is to be used for pickling. 

Ghee- To keep the rice fluffy and compensate for the heat of the pickle masala, you need a generous amount of ghee. Don’t skip the ghee, trust me!! For swaps, I would go for butter or vegan butter.

This is my simplest go-to version of having the pickle masala rice. Below is another version that is a bit more elaborate.

The alternate method of preparing avakkai annam

Introducing this recipe to my teens was fun. I knew rejection will come straight up my alley if I just give them how I was groomed in. So I twisted it a bit. here is the second version.

Heat up the ghee a bit and add 10 to 15 cashew nuts broken into bits.  As the cashew nuts roast add some raisins and let them plump up. Remove from heat as soon as the raisins swell and add to the mixed rice and pickle. Fluff the rice to mix this well. This went without any objection and doubled up for the lunch box too.

avakkai annam

Pickle masala rice

The simplest of variety rice, spicy, tangy avakkai annam comes together in under 10 minutes. Adapted from Andhra cuisine, this pickle masala rice is one of our best picnic food ideas.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine gluten free, Indian, One pot, South indian
Servings 2 people


  • 1 frying pan
  • mixing bowls and spoons.


  • 1 cup rice cooked and fluffed, preferably left over rice ( see post for details)
  • 2 tsp pickle masala (use the thick paste of the pickle that has been marinating).
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • 4-5 curry leaves (optional)


  • Set the frying pan on medium heat and add the ghee to melt.
  • As the ghee melts add the curry leaves and let this sizzle
  • Now add the rice and the pickle masala and stir well.
  • once the rice is well coated with the ghee and the pickle masala, the rice is ready to be served.
    pickle masala rice making.
  • Serve warm with raita and fryums.
    avakkai annam
Keyword Indian vegetarian dinner, leftover recipes, Pickle recipes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Perfect pairs for this variety rice.

The spicy pickle masala rice deserves some soothing companions that won’t set you on fire. Here are a couple of recommendations.

Cucumber raita
Vazhuthanaga mezhukkuperatti
Potato and pumpkin leaf raita
Lettuce vepudu
Sago papads

Here is an easy version of mixed vegetable raita that you can make.


Stay connected

The avakkai annam comes together very quickly and is great when you have unexpected guests for a meal. the recipe is a fantastic idea when you are moving houses or travelling as the pickle stays well without refrigeration and so does the ghee. With some quick microwave rice or a side order of rice, a tasty meal is ready in just a few minutes. Pickle masala rice is the best way to clean up a pickle bottle too. Now that you have learnt this secret, tell us how it went for you in the comments below. It is not a recipe that needs a huge effort, so rate us when you try it!  Hope you love this new way of eating pickles.

avakkai annam

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Jayashree T.Rao
1 year ago
Rating :

I have good memories with pickle masala rice. It tastes yumm and loved by all of us.

1 year ago
Rating :

Same hostel stories! Absolutely love pickle masala rice. In fact, I have some masala i a bottle I plan to use for my lunch. Will try your method 2 😀

Mayuri Patel
1 year ago
Rating :

Seema I came across your recipe at the right time. Had so much rice leftover from last night’s dinner. Made this instant pickle masala rice and oh my, we simply loved it. An awesome recipe.. thanks for sharing.

Priya Vj
1 year ago
Rating :

What is not to love in pickle rice.. I remember my mom relishing pickle especially avakkai by mixing it with hot rice and ghee same as you. I am not a great pickle lover ,but used to enjoy this rice with papad from mom’s plate . Sheer nostalgia.

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