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5 from 6 votes

Spicy Garlic Achaar (Lahsun Ka Achaar)

Small batch north indian punjabi style achar with spicy and tangy flavors. This achar made with garlic, apple cider vinegar, spices and kala namak is healthy and delicious at the same time.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time3 d 10 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 50 teaspoon
Calories: 28kcal


  • 200 g garlic cloves peeled, 6-7 whole garlic bulb
  • 50 g green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1.5 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ajwain seeds
  • teaspoon asafoetida hing
  • ½ teaspoon nigella seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder see notes
  • 1.5 teaspoon kala namak rock salt
  • 1.5 teaspoon white salt adjust to taste
  • 3 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • ½ cup mustard oil for adding and topping later to pickle , divided



  • Take the end off the green chilies. Wash and let completely air dry by laying on a kitchen or paper towel. You can slit the chilies if you wish. 
  • Peel the garlic pods. See note below for my suggested methods to easily peel garlic.
    You can use ready to use garlic pods as well. Make sure that the ready to use ones are good quality. Wash and completely air dry the garlic. Layer on a kitchen and paper towel to air dry.
  • Chop off the dried ends of garlic. Slice the big pods lengthwise into small. 
  • While the garlic and chilies are drying, sterilize storage container and lid by dipping them in boiling water for 6-7 minutes. Completely dry the container & lid. 

Make The Garlic Achaar

  • In a dry pan, very lightly roast the whole spices. Cool them completely and proceed to next step.
  • Add roasted whole spices (except nigella) to a small grinder and grind to a powder. It should not be too coarse or too fine.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the ground masala with nigella seeds and the powdered spices and salt. Mix very well using a clean dry spoon. 
  • In a large non reactive bowl, add the garlic & chillies. Sprinkle the spice powder and apple cider vinegar. Mix well. Spoon the pickle to sterilized jar.
  • Add the mustard oil to a small sauce pan and let heat up till it's a little smoky. Once smoky, switch off the stove and let cool off for 1-2 minutes. 
  • Add hot (but not sizzling hot) mustard oil (reserve 1-2 tablespoon for topping the achar). Using a clean dry spoon, mix everything very well for 2 minutes or so until all the garlic and chilies are coated. 
  • Close the lid (not too tightly, we want the moisture to escape) and let sit for 2-3 days in a warm & dry spot of your kitchen. I keep it near my kitchen window. Shake once a day.
  • The pickle will be ready to use on 4th or 5th day(depends on weather where you live). Serve using a clean spoon. Dont touch the pickle with hands.


  • Make sure that every utensil that you use while making and for storing achar is dry and clean. Sterlize and dry the jars . Water is the number one enemy of oil pickles.
  • If you are touching any ingredient, make sure that your hands are dry and clean.
  • Make sure that the green chilies and garlic are fresh and dont have any dry, spotted, discolored parts. Remove any dry or powdery parts from the garlic using a knife. Those perpetuate fungal growth.
  • Use fresh spices (sitting for not more than 2-3 months in your pantry)
  • Since we are not frying the garlic and using it raw for making the achaar, make sure that the garlic pieces are small. I usually half all the garlic cloves. If you are using desi lehsun, its cloves are small and you dont need to slice.
  • Make sure that the achaar is not under salted. Under salted achaar tends to go bad.
  • You can skip the green chilies and make achar just with garlic. In that case, add extra red chilli powder to the masala (see recipe notes for quantity).
  • Add long cut ginger pieces to this recipe to make ginger garlic ka achar.
  • Make sure that the oil is hot (but not smoky sizzling hot) when you add to the pickle.
  • After the achaar is mixed, with a clean spoon, taste a tiny bit of masala to check the salt. The masala will taste very sharp, bitter and salty right now. But dont worry, once the pickling is over, the pungency will go away and the garlic and chilies will absorb the salt so it won't be over salty.
  • It is natural that the green chillies will lose their bright green color and turn pale yellow after pickling.
  • Right after you make the achar, it will strongly smell of ACV (cider). However once the pickling is over, the strong cider smell will go away. 
Substitutions :- 
  • Mustard Oil Substitute :- If you dont want to use mustard oil, use neutral oil like avocado, sunflower or grapeseed.
  • If you do not wish to use green chillies, skip them. Add 1.5 teaspoon hot red chili powder in the recipe. The achar will be slightly reddish in color.
  • Add long cut ginger strips to make ginger garlic achaar. 
  • You can use half apple cider vinegar and half white vinegar. 


Calories: 28kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 144mg | Potassium: 22mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 7IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg