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Shallot Pickle (Small Onion Pickle)

 Published 2024-Jun-11   Updated 2024-Jun-11

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Chinna Vengaya Urugai, Chinna Vengaya Oorugai, சின்ன வெங்காய ஊறுகாய், Kochu Ulli Achaar)

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Pickle is an important condiment throughout India. Pickles are made with raw mango, lemon and any other vegetable on hand. Pickles create a flavorful and tangy accompaniment to any dish. Today I want to share yet another variety made with small onions known as shallot pickle or ulli achaar.

This pickle is made by cooking small onions (shallots) in a mixture of spices and vinegar. The small onions are peeled and left whole or sliced into halves, depending on personal preference. Vinegar is a key ingredient in small onion pickle, providing the tangy taste and acting as a preservative to extend the shelf life of the pickle. Some people prefer to add tamarind pulp instead of vinegar. A tiny piece of jaggery is also added to balance out the flavors. Here’s the detailed recipe.

Recipe For Small Onion Pickle


  • Small onions (Shallots) – 250 gms (peeled)
  • Garlic – 50 gms
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Fenugreek Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Red Chili Powder – 1-2 tbsp
  • Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
  • Salt – 1 tbsp
  • White Vinegar – ¼ cup
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Jaggery – about 1 tsp


  1. Wash and peel the small onions. I prefer to leave them whole but you can pulse it in a food processor.
  2. In a pan, dry roast mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds until a nice aroma comes. Be careful not to burn them.
  3. Once the spices cool down, grind the roasted spices into a coarse powder using a mixie or mortar and pestle.
  4. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the small onions and garlic cloves. Saute until they turn translucent.
  5. If you like a thick masala, take 1 spoonful of this sauteed onions & garlic and grind to a paste.
  6. Add the ground spice powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder and required salt. Also add the ground onions & garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  7. Pour white vinegar with this and mix everything together. Let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes.
  8. Add jaggery to balance all the flavours. Stir well until it dissolves and switch off.
  9. Remove from the heat and let the pickle cool down to room temperature. Once cooled, transfer it to a clean, dry jar with an airtight lid.
  10. Allow the pickle to rest for at least 2 days before consuming. Store in refrigerator for good shelf life.

Serving Suggestion

  • Enjoy your homemade small onion pickle with rice, roti, curd rice etc.


  • You can add tamarind pulp instead of vinegar. Also increase the quantity of vinegar as per your taste.
  • Adding garlic is a personal choice. You can skip it if you do not prefer.

More Onion Recipes

Khekada Bhaji Khekada Bhaji (Onion Pakoda) Ulli Theeyal Shallot Theeyal Garlic Onion Curry Garlic Onion Curry Onion Rings Onion Rings
See more ⟩⟩

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 Published by on and last updated on 2024-06-11.