South Indian Chili Tamarind Pickle Adds A Kick To Any Meal

No matter how fancy the place is, an Indian will slurp if you mention pickles! Just the mere mention of the word "pickle" or "achaar" is enough to make many of us salivate irresistibly. Tangy, zingy, and spicy achaars are a major part of Indian cuisine, and the sheer variety is such that we simply cannot escape their magic in our many meals. No matter how many varieties of pickles there may be, it is never enough for many of us. From mirchi pickles to mixed vegetables, mango, lemon, and so on, the variety of pickles is simply phenomenal. Such is the variety of achaar in our cuisine that, just when you think you have tasted all the achaars of the country, you are gifted with another one to try. And if you are just like us when it comes to bonding over pickles and like all things tangy and spicy just like us, we’ve got you another delicious achaar that you can make at home—a South Indian version of chilli pickle that isn’t just tantalising but fiery too.

Made with green chillies and tangy tamarind, this south Indian pickle is called mulagai thokku or pacchai milagai thokku and is quite popular in the Tamil Nadu region. Mulagai is the name for chillies; pacchai milagai means green chillies in Tamil; and thokku is a pickle. The recipe for this pickle is super easy and quick! It requires few ingredients for a balance of heat, tanginess, and flavours. It only takes a few minutes to prepare this South Indian pickle. This can be stored for days to come and goes perfectly well with anything from roti and dosa to rice.

South Indian Chili Tamarind Achaar Recipe:

Simply cut a slit in the middle of the chillis or chop them to make this pickle. It is then lightly sauteed on a low flame until light brown and cooked with tamarind and jaggery for some time. When made into a paste, it is cooked again with hing. Here’s the recipe in detail:


  • 250 g of green chillies
  • 1/4 cup tamarind paste
  • 1/4 cup jaggery powder
  • 1 teaspoon asafoetida or hing
  • Salt according to taste


  • Slit the green chillies down the middle or roughly chop them into 2 cm-long pieces.
  • Sauté till lightly brown. Add tamarind paste and jaggery to this and mix well.
  • Make a fine paste out of the chilli mixture and set it aside.
  • Heat some mustard oil in a pan and add the hing, followed by the green chilli paste and salt to taste.
  • Take off the heat and let it cool completely before storing it in an airtight jar.