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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Pandu Mirapakaya Pachchadi - Fresh Red Chillie Pickle

No Indian palate is accustomed to bland food. We need chillies to pep up any savory dish. Be it in the form of chillies-fresh/ripe or the chillie powder which go into our daily fare of curries / dals / pickles, it needs to be just there. Recently, our own chillie, 'Bhut Jolokia' has been honored as the hottest chillie on earth by Guinness Book of World Records. For the JFI event, Nandita of Saffrontrail has aptly chosen chillies - the ingredient without which our Indian cooking would be at loss.

I instantly knew what I was going to prepare when JFI - chillies was announced. Being an andhrite, pickle of course. Spicy pickles are an integral part of Andhra cuisine. Instead of being sidelined, they are given prominence as a part of the main meal, which is rice centered. Especially in Telugu Brahmin house holds, a traditional meal always start with rice being eaten with pickles / chutneys (pachchadi) with generous sprinkling of ghee. Rice is eaten with pickles (pachchadi), cooked and spiced vegetable / curry (koora), spicy Dal (pappu / pulusu), rasam (charu), yogurt (perugu) - always in this order. A menu on a festive ocassion may include more curries, rice dishes (like pulihora), other sweet and savory dishes.

It is therefore a common practice to prepare and store pickles for year long usage. Avakaya, Maagaya, Mukka pachchadi (pickles made with mango), Gongura, Chintakaya (made with raw tamarind) are to name a few. Among the long list of Andhra pickles, here is one, Pandu Mirapakaya Pachchadi / Pandu Mirapakaya Karam. As the name suggests, the main ingredient that goes into this pickle are fresh red chillies, the chillies which are allowed to ripen before picking.

Making this pickle is an easier task compared to the other ones. You don't need any elaborate preparations to make this. You can have this in a jiffy just by grinding the required ingredients. Take care to use dry utensils and ingredients for pickle's long shelf life. This pickle stays fresh for at least six months with the kind of fresh red chillies available in Andhra. If you are substituting with other varieties, it is better to refrigerate.

Note: The closest substitute for fresh red chillies I could find in my grocery shop were chicara. The quantities of other ingredients may slightly vary depending upon the chillies you choose. The following ingredients give you a cup of pickle. You can increase/decrease the quantities in same proportions for more / less quantity of the pickle. Also the ingredients should be ground into a coarser paste for an authentic version. I could not do it because of my blender. Don't be skeptical to try this because of the color and the chillies used. The fresh red chillies are mild compared to the green ones. If you want to try this, I would recommend you to go ahead without any hesitation. If you try it, I am sure that you are going to love it..

Fresh red chillies - 10
Tamarind - A small lime size (Hint: if you make a ball out of tamarind, it should fit into a Tbsp size spoon)
Salt - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - little (around a 1/8 tsp)

How to make the pickle:
Wash the red chillies and let them air dry or wipe them dry. Chillies should have no trace of moisture. Remove the stalks.
Mean while, heat oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds and asafoetida. When mustard seeds start to pop, turn off the stove. Let the mustard seeds cool.
Take care that the mixer / blender which you are going to use is completely dry. Grind the chillies, tamarind and salt into a coarse paste WITHOUT water.
Add the mustard seeds - asafoetida mixture to it. Stir well and store it in a glass / ceramic jar.
Always use a DRY spoon when handling the pickle.
Traditionally, this is eaten with rice & ghee. It also can be served as a side dish / dip.

'Pandu Mirapakaya Pachchadi' - My entry to JFI - Chillies hosted by saffron trail's Nandita. Indira of Mahanandi is the person behind JFI.

Post a Comment


Unknown said...

A very nice recipe, very easy one too... i just love the bright red color of the pickle...
Pandumirapakaya pachadi, with pappu, and ghee, in rice is my Fav :)

FH said...

Yummy! Great color.I make the same way with green Jalapenos and with Garlic seasoning.Khara chutney ,Tuppa and Ragi Rotti are the classic K'taka combo,it's in Aroma.
Great entry Suma.I get stomach aches sometimes when I eat this chutney but that doesn't stop me!;D
Mine's next Wednesday.Punjabi is out this week.

Tee said...

I love chilli pickle...don't mind how hot it is :) your pickle looks so 'hot' !:)

Richa said...

ooooh! that is HOT!
sounds simple to make, lovely color :)

Shivapriya said...

yummy & hot, perfect entry!!

Anonymous said...

Great recipe! Love the color.

bee said...

your pictures are always so great, suma.

Suganya said...

Look at those bright red chillies.. Gorgeous.

Neelam said...

I love hot food! Lovely colour!

Roopa said...

wow great entry! its looks real hot.. sad i can't take so hot anymore...but it does not resist me when i see something hot served on the table :)

Anand Navayana said...

do you mean: you do not cook/ saute the red chillies? they are ground to paste raw?

Viji said...

A hot and spicy entry Suma. Love its color. Viji

Vanamala Hebbar said...

Hello suma

Nice hot chilli pickle..

Anonymous said...

Mummy that is looking so yummy. Want to have it right now.

Anonymous said...

great pickle...being a chillie junkie...i am gonna have to try this...great colour...thx

Sharmi said...

waw that looks so vibrant. do you get
the same in US! thats great. thanks for the beautiful recipe.

S said...

hi ur pachadi is so mouth watering i love having it with mudda pappu...i likeit when my MIl repares it

Prema Sundar said...

I make a gravy with green chillies + onions with tamarind(not grinding them).. and this is similar to it.. colour looks so attractive . may be i should try it out with red chillies next time. thanks.

Suma Gandlur said...


This one was not hot as the green chillies. After a few days, the hotness completely mellowed down. It depends upon the chillies, I guess.

This red chillies available in US are not that hot. you may love it.

Richa, padmaja, Gini,

I love your pictures too.

Suma Gandlur said...

Yes, They are beautiful.


I think there are red chillie varieties that are not hot. You can give them a try if you like.

You don't need to saute or cook. Just grinding is required.

SeeC said...

Lovely picture Suma. You have wonderful recipes...My MIL used to prepare this. Goes well with ghee n rice.

Rajitha said...

looks really hot and delish!
i have been looking for some good red-chilly pickle recipe, i will defintely try this one out.

Shella said...


Makes my mouth water, wanting to eat this pickles with rice & curd. What a heavenly bliss it would be. I had an Uncle who originated from Andhra & I absolutely loved the achaars they used to make, n I always had a bottle of some variety sent over to me.

Now I can make my own, thanks to you.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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