Gujarati Athela Marcha: A Quick And Spicy Chilli Pickle

When we think of pickles it always conjures up images of long laborious processes and months of drying, salting and curing to get the final product. But Gujarati Athela Marcha flies in the face of that idea as an instant pickle that can be whipped up just before a meal and still taste delicious. 

If you like your pickles spicy there’s no question that you’ll love Athela Marcha, but even if you want to experience the delicious flavours without the fiery edge, you can substitute jalapenos or Bhavnagari chillies in this recipe for the same results. 

The main flavour bomb of this pickle is the split mustard seeds, known in India as rai kuria. Also known as Rai dal, they are mustard seeds with the skin removed, then split. Rai kuria are the main ingredient in making many Indian pickles.

Some people also like to take it a step further by adding fresh, sliced vegetables like carrots or even raw mango which also lend themselves well to pickling. Though simple, it’s packed with dimension and flavours that easily amp up any meal and even though it can be eaten almost immediately, it keeps getting better with age. So we suggest mixing up a big batch to keep in the fridge and enjoy for many months to come. 


For Pickle

  • ½ pound green chillies
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

For Masala

  • ¼ cup split mustard seeds (Rai na Kuria)
  • 3 Tablespoons oil
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


  • Rinse the chillies under running water and dry them completely with a paper towel. 
  • Remove the stems and slice them lengthwise into halves and then into quarters.
  • Wash the lemon and slice them into thin circles before cutting each slice into quarters.
  • Transfer the cut chillies into bowl and sprinkle them with salt and turmeric. Let them rest for 15-20 minutes to draw out the excess moisture.
  • Combine the mustard seeds, salt, and turmeric in a medium bowl.
  • Heat 3 tablespoons of hot oil and quickly pour it over the mustard mixture. Cover the bowl with a lid and let the mixture rest for 10 minutes.
  • Spread the chillies on a paper towel. Use another paper towel to dry all the moisture from the chillies.
  • Transfer the chillies and lemon wedges into the bowl with the oil and mustard mixture. Stir everything well until well combined.
  • Transfer the chilli pickle into an airtight jar. 
  • Let it sit at room temperature for 2 days then transfer the jar to the refrigerator.
  • Serve it after 24 to 48 hours. For the best taste, serve it after a week.