Vellulli Achaar | Malabar Garlic Pickle



This month, I decided to participate in the AtoZ Challenge, hosted by Vidya and Jolly. I have been planning the post since long and made sure I had cooked and shot for it in advance. Since we are in Ramadan, I didn’t want to be bothered with more cooking, at the same time didn’t want to miss participating in this challenge. My first entry was this simple stir fry with eggplant, since that month we were cooking with ingredients starting with “E”. I decided to give “F” a miss though it was quite easy to have done a post with it. This month, the alphabet is “G” and I chose garlic to be the main ingredient.



Garlic needs no introduction in Indian cooking especially. It is used in almost every non-vegetarian dish that can be thought of. Vegetarians do use it with a little bit of restraint since the flavors are considered to be more in line with non-veg. You may notice that during their fasting days, they do avoid food with onion and garlic. I realized it more when I was trying to trace sadya recipes for our state. In Malabar, we use garlic and fennel even in our vegetarian dishes, but in the southern Kerala, it is more of ginger and cumin. Then Meena explained to me why it is so. Blogging does teach you a lot… 🙂


OK, so coming back to the garlic, I chose to make our style garlic pickle. If there is any pickle we enjoy at home, it is garlic pickle. My mattamma makes the most amazing garlic pickle in the world. It is less spicy, so even Azza enjoys them. We are not a pickle family, so I hardly have any in my fridge. But the garlic pickle is a must. Mattamma had told me how she makes it, but then the difference in hand surely shows, and I prefer to get it from her. Sometimes umma laments how hard it is to peel close to a kilo of garlic and how she needs to prod some of her relatives to help her with it. 😀


I had this bottle of fried garlic soaked in vinegar, we had bought from home last year from a famous pickle shop in Calicut. We had bought other small pickle bottles from there like beetroot and papaya, and both were amazing. But the garlic bottle stayed in the pantry and HD wouldn’t allow me to give it away. Finally, when we ran out of stock of mattamma’s pickle, I quickly put this bottle into action. I pulled up from my memory recesses how she makes it and went through it. It was slightly more spicier but then it tastes awesome! HD did make out that it wasn’t mattamma’s achaar but didn’t say anything else. He still enjoys it every Friday and there is a little bit more left. 😉


Even though I took the short cut, I have put all the steps in the recipe card as explained by my grandma. You can adjust the chilli powder as per your spice levels. Allowing it to rest will increase the flavors. I store my pickles in the fridge since my kitchen is too warm, and as long as you don’t dip a wet spoon into your pickle, it stays good for as long as it can! Off to this recipe…





5 from 8 votes

Vellulli Achaar | Malabar Garlic Pickle

Course Sides
Cuisine Malabar
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 30 minutes
Servings 10 -12
Author Rafeeda


  • 500 gm garlic Indian garlic, peeled
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 3-4 sprigs curry leaves minced
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powoder
  • 3 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Vinegar as needed
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds


  • Peel the garlic. Wash it well and dry on a kitchen towel till no trace of water is there.
  • Heat enough oil in a kadai for deep frying. Drop the garlic in batches and fry briefly for a couple of minutes. Do not brown it. Drain it onto a kitchen towel. Repeat till all is done. Allow to cool completely.
  • Put the garlic into a bottle and pour vinegar till an inch above it. Add some salt and give it a good mix.
  • Roast the mustard and fenugreek seeds briefly. Pound using a mortar and pestle till coarse powder.
  • Mix the chilli powders and turmeric powder into a paste with little water.
  • Heat the coconut oil and splutter the mustard seeds. Briefly fry the minced curry leaves. Add the spice paste and give a good mix. Make sure the flame is on simmer so that the paste doesn't burn. Saute till the raw smell is gone. Switch off and allow to cool.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of vinegar into this mixture, add the pounded powder and whisk well. Add salt and mix.
  • Pour this into the soaking garlic and mix well. Add more vinegar if required.  Allow it to rest for 24 hours.

Join the Conversation

  1. We make a garlic pickle at home too, quite different from this one, and I love it to bits. Your version looks so good, too, I want to dig into this pickle jar straight away. 🙂

    Very simple, well-explained recipe.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      I would love to know how you make your pickle too… Thanks a lot Priya…

  2. am loving the pickle jaadi (jar) – and the pickle looks like it would be liked by the garlic lovers back home.. good pick, Rafee !

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Kalyani…

  3. 5 stars
    I have bookmarked this recipe Rafeeda. I had once tasted garlic pickle and loved it to the core. I love your version of garlic pickle and would love to try for sure.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Renu…

  4. The pickle looks so delicious and spicy. No meal is complete without little pickle on the side.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Shobha…

  5. I have never tasted garlic pickle so far. But it is in my to-do list for quite a long time. The pickle looks simple and easy to make.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Niranjana…

  6. 5 stars
    You have to thank your Mattamma for this lovely recipe and also for her patience in peeling the garlic. Truly pickle making is an art and it differs from person to person. I cannot make pickles like my mother, even though the family thinks it is much similar. Garlic pickle and parathas are my favourite. I generally add sesame oil but this coconut oil addition is great. Hey, can lime juice be replaced with vinegar? Asking as I prefer not adding them to food. Now Azza and HD both can enjoy this pickle treat from you, one more job added to your never ending work profile at home. Lol!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      You can surely try using lime juice. In fact my mattamma uses minimal vinegar so her achar is quite dry, when compared to mine that seems to be floating in it! Hehe… I will only make it when I run out of her pickle, never otherwise… Thank you so much Vidya… 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    I’m truly amazed at the variety and different methods used to make pickles in India. Making garlic pickle, that’s like wow. The only thing I’ve made with garlic is a chutney. Your pickle preparation looks so delicious and wouldn’t mind tasting it with some khichdi.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Mayuriji…

  8. Garlic pickle looks lip-smackingly delicious. Never tried it before. Sounds easy yet delicious. Thanks for the detailed recipe loved it.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Sujata…

  9. 5 stars
    My son and I love garlic pickles! I have to make this the next time I get fresh, peeled garlic (such a pain to peel so many :D).Love it dear <3 Bookmarked!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Vanitha… 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    I’ve never made (or had) garlic pickle… Your recipe is tempting me to try some soon :-). One question, what vinegar do you use for the pickle? Is it okay to use rice vinegar?

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Ashima…

  11. This pickle recipe is easy to follow and I am glad I found this coz garlic pickle is my dad’s favorite. You are lucky to have learnt from your Mattamma. And its absolutely right pickling is something which differs from person to person. Coconut oil sounds interesting here have not tried it in pickles yet.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Paarul…

  12. I love garlic pickle , my mom always made a batch of it.. loved your version .. I love having it with ajwain parathas.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Swati…

  13. 5 stars
    I had once bought a big jar of garlic pickle from Paonta Sahib and my family loved it to the bits. Now I will follow your recipe to try it at home. Thanks for the share.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Poonam…

  14. The malabar style pickle brings such mouthwatering feeling. I trylu miss these malabar pickle and wish I too had mathamma like you now to share this sort of recipe.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Seema…

  15. This is perhaps the recipe I want to try ASAP in this challenge. I absolutely love garlic pickle but have never made it at home. Your recipe is so easy that I am tempted to make this right now. As a bonus, peeled garlic pods are available just at my doorstep.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Aruna…

  16. Wow.. Interesting & it’s just mouthwatering. Never tried or tasted garlic pickle.. Looks so flavorful and tempting Rafee. Delicious Share.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Jolly…

  17. 5 stars
    We make garlic pickle at home but this one is slightly different. Love the addition of coconut oil
    Will try this variation sometime.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Geetanjali…

  18. Malabar style garlic pickle is tempting me to try soon. So perfect share for theme and Much interesting for me

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Sasmita…

  19. Harbinder says:

    5 stars
    Thank you. Great recipe and easy to follow.
    Would you add Citric Acid or any other preservative for longer shelf life and if yes, how much would you add?

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      There is no need for any preservatives. The vinegar and salt itself does the trick. As long as you don’t dip a wet spoon into the bottle… Hope this helps…

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