Garlic Achaar

Achaar is the Hindi word for Pickle and an Indian meal is almost incomplete without some achaar on the side. Depending on what’s in season and from what region you belong, achaar can sweet or savory, with different fruits, vegetables, meat and fish. Just like chutneys, there are endless variation and versions!

I used to mostly depend on the store bought achaar until I learned to make it at home. Anything homemade always tastes better. Plus you can have control over the flavor profile and add more spice or sweet as per your taste buds. You can make it just the way you and your family likes it.

“Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.”  — Alice May Brock

How true is that?

Well, I fall in the category of ‘Garlic Lovers’ and I find it very tough to start cooking any savory dish without smashing and chopping of garlic cloves. Garlic has it’s own ritual significances, myths, facts and health benefits. However, what I care more is how it enhances a dish with it’s bold flavor.

Peeling garlic cloves can be a little painful at times. I recently learned that if you microwave the cloves for 10 to 15 seconds on high temperature, the skin would come off very easily. And, it did!

This is a savory, tangy garlic achaar where natural preservatives like salt, oil and lime juice were added. Typically, garlic is either sun-dried or roasted before adding to the pickling sauce. However, I decided to deep fry it for just a couple of minutes in mustard oil and then use the same oil to mix the garlic with the pickling sauce.

Garlic Achaar

Serving Size: roughly 2 cups

Garlic Achaar


  • 2 cups peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 cup mustard oil
  • 1 teaspoon asafoetida
  • for the pickling sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon nigella
  • 3 dry red chilies
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • juice of 2 limes


  • Heat a pan and dry roast fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, dry red chilies and nigella. It's always better to dry roast these spices separately as they are of different shapes and sizes. 
  • Once done, let them cool before you grind it to a dust. It need not be too fine in texture.
  • In a small bowl, mix lemon juice, spice dust and salt. This is the pickling sauce. Keep it aside to be used later.
  • Heat a pan oil and add asafoetida.
  • After couple of seconds, drop the garlic cloves and cook for a couple of minutes, until it's lightly brown in color.
  • Then, put the garlic and oil in a big bowl along with the pickling sauce that we had made earlier. Give it a good mix.
  • Pour the whole thing in a clean airtight jar and let it rest in a cool dark area for at least 2 weeks. It's important for the garlic to absorb the salt and blend with the flavor. So, give the bottle a shake every 2-3 days.

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Simone says:

Wow. Such gorgeous photos! I love garlic too. It’s just such an amazing taste! Would love to try this garlic achaar!

Ansh says:

Love the fact that you deep fried it a little. I am sure that would render a milder tasting garlic. The question is ” how do we “not” open the bottle and taste if it is done before the stipulated 2 weeks ” 🙁

Kankana says:

Thanks Ansh 🙂 Well, it’s not like you absolutely cannot open the bottle! It’s just that it will get ready only after about 2 weeks and after few months it will taste much better! You can definitely open the bottle and check. Add more salt, spice or tang if you wish! Hope this helps 🙂

Ansh says:

LOL! Excellent idea.. taste testing. I just love pickles, so I am thinking it will be hard not to go and check for taste .. Making this tomorrow.. will report back 🙂

i love the pic of garlics…. Beautiful!!!
Trust me you made this achaar 1000 times more sexier and tempting with your pics…
I bet this taste equally good.

Sayantani says:

beautiful recipe. we are a sucker for pickles when the cravings strike….and I wont say that the clicks are beautiful. as they always are 🙂

Rosa says:

Oh, that is wonderful! Garlic tastes so good and your achaar must just be extremely flavorful.

Gorgeous picture of the garlic!



Kulsum says:

You should send me some of that! :))

Zee says:

ooh I love garlic achar! Wish there were some fiery green chilies in there too and I would come running with a paratha 😀

Tes says:

My mouth is watering. It will sit so perfectly on the side of my pulav rice 🙂

Oh wow, such gorgeous photos! My hubby and son loves garlic achar, you should parcel me some! 😉

Spandana says:

Beautiful Pictures Kankana…. I too fall in the category of garlic lovers… and this is exactly how I like!!! Just cant resist 🙂

katie says:

WOW–this looks stellar and your photos have my mouth watering!

nisha says:

i tried making a south indian version of the garlic pickle once and it was torturous. By the time i had all the garlic peeled, i was famished 🙂
The jar looks absolutely fab and by the looks of it the achaar is droolworthy.

Kankana says:

Nisha .. use the technique i mentioned here about heating the garlic in microwave for few seconds. Trust me it makes my life so easy 🙂

I am also a BIG garlic lover and this pickle is making me drool. I have a bottle of garlic pickle that i bought from my favorite store but I am quite sure yours will be better!

Emily says:

This will really keep the vampires at bay, haha! Okay sorry about the lame joke. I couldn’t help cracking vampires jokes when it comes to garlic. I’m a garlic lover and I can’t imagine cooking without garlic. I love achar but normally in the form of lemon or vegetables but never garlic. This will be a good one to try it at home.:)

Garlic makes anything good, that is very true. Although, I’m yet to try garlic ice cream 😉

Kankana says:

well i tried garlic ice cream too 🙂 There is this Gilroy garlic festival that happens every year and it’s all about garlic and that’s where I tried it. Hubby loved it .. I, not so much .. well, not at all!

Kiri W. says:

Oh wow, this looks amazing! I love garlic and I love all sorts of things pickled – I should really try to combine the two! Thank you for sharing this 🙂

My sis makes a similar one. but i never tried. Wonderful recipe

aarthi says:


Malli says:

Garlic pickle looks absolutely mouth-watering!! I love that it is not spicy red like the storebought ones, yet it has kicked up flavors all perfect for a pickle.

Ambika says:

This is amazing Kankana!! I am also a die hard Garlic lover! This pickle sounds absolutely delicious! My granny makes a similar pickle, but with different (south Indian) spices and sesame oil instead of mustard oil. I think I should make some right away, your post and photos have me longing for garlic pickle!!

Harini says:

I feel like dipping my finger and licking a bit of the masala! Looks so delcious, Kankana! I haven’t had garlic pickle though. For me it is the mustard oil that makes all the difference!

Oh wow, this looks so good…a must try!

Vijitha says:

Aw, spicy goodness. I love the first picture the most.

Asmita says:

Hi Kankana,
Your aachar looks so yummy! I guess after frying the garlic ,it must have a sweet taste. I would love to have this aachar with some hot and spicy Indian food.

Kalyani says:

pickle looks spicy and delicious …….

daksha says:

I like garlic flavor and this achaar is just mouthwatering!!!

Krithi says:

Lovely recipe with beautiful pics dear…
Serve It – Pressure Cooked/Slow Cooked

Garlic pickle is a staple in our home and I have never considered making it myself! Thanks for sharing this recipe, Kankana… and of course (i feel like a parrot repeating this on every one of your posts!), the pictures are stunning!

sulagna says:

did i tell you this brought back childhood a kid when i caught a cold, which is a practice i am popular for even now, Ma used to heat some mustard oil and put some garlic pods and kalo jeera in it..once my malish was done i used to savor the pungent , half burnt garlics!

you took me back there Kankana 🙂

Sawsan says:

I totally agree, garlic makes it good 🙂
I have never heard of achaar before but this garlic version sounds like the perfect compliment to any meal! Thank you for sharing Kankana

hemalata says:

Yummy Garlic pickle,looks so delicious.

Hey kankana,

This looks gr8.. have always wanted to try making this..never used mustard oil before either..home made pickles are so much better than the bottled ones!

never tried making my own pickle… always thought its too tedious, you make it look damn easy! i LOVE garlic too (who doesnt?), a jar of garlic pickle is always there in my house.. but the ones i have tried have unroasted/ raw garlic pods. im sure its a thousand times better roasted. lovely pics

Liz says:

Great tip for peeling garlic! And such a wonderful condiment!

missy says:

I think this looks devine! The photos are breathtaking as well – your patience really shows in this post. Lovely.

I love garlic. Garlic achaar sounds like a good way to enjoy it. Fantastic clicks as always, Kankana!

Sukanya says:

I too love the flavour of roasted garlic and yes I do agree homemade achars are way better than the store bought. loving it..both the pickle and the photos..gorgeous one

Chitra says:

I love garlic pickles. Bookmarked this wonderful recipe !!

please please come to my house- move to my neighborhood and take pics for me! They are killer- love the pics as much as the recipe!

Your blog seriously sends out a lot of sunshine Kankana. Love the recipe and love the photos! Just way too gorgeous.

maha says:

yumy pickle..n my fav 2 try this…n pics r just fabulous……

Alyssa says:

Wow, what a wonderful recipe! And as always, your photos are inspired!

delicious looking flavourful achar wonderfully presented

nipponnin says:

How do you pronounce achaar? The garlic picture is awesome! This is an interesting recipe.

I’ve never made pickle at home but this post has surely inspired me to try. 🙂

I love garlic and this looks so good! I can totally see this gets addicting!

Kanchan says:

Loved your header snap.
Never prepared achaar at home but i always have one garlic one at home, your snaps do make me try one soon.

Charles says:

Damn, I love garlic so much! My wife recently bought a sack of garlic (not really sure why!) so we have way too much at the moment – I think I might try this soon… it looks wonderful!

I love garlic and this is the most beautiful shot of garlic I have ever seen! You are very good my friend!

mjskit says:

I am a huge garlic lover so this garlic achaar has me wanting to jump up right now and make it! Your pictures show how delicious it is. I can’t wait to make it!

Notyet100 says:

Even I luv garlic pickle,tisane looks yum,:)

In our house we pickled garlics with a mixture of vinegar and chilli! But I like this recipe a bit more because of the spices…

sally says:

Yum! This looks so good!

Yummy! I love garlic way too much. And you are right, nothing beats homemade pickles 😉

I love garlic too but never tried making achaar with it at home. This looks lipsmacking! Also love the new look of your blog.

I love garlic achar.. now no one can stop me from making my own!