Sinhalese mixed pickle

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    2 x 500 ml


Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

Achcharu is a spicy Sri Lankan pickle or salad. Variations of this simple condiment abound, but here is the Kuruvita version. You will have to track down the right green chillies for this one, but it will be well worth the effort.

Preparation 15 minutes + 2 weeks pickling
Cooking 10 minutes


  • 1 small carrot
  • 50 g ( oz) green papaya
  • 50 g ( oz) Indian green chillies, with stalks
  • 100 g ( oz) Bombay onions, or 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 50 g ( oz) baby green beans
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 350 ml (12 fl oz) malt vinegar


Peel the carrot and papaya, then cut them into thin batons, 3 cm (1¼ inches) long and about 5 mm (¼ inch) thick. Place in a bowl.

Using a sharp knife, cut the chillies in half lengthways, keeping them connected by the stalk. Add to the carrot mixture with the onion, beans and garlic and mix to combine. Divide the mixture evenly between two sterilised jars.

Place the mustard seeds, salt and vinegar in a small saucepan, bring to the boil, then pour over the vegetable mixture, ensuring there is just enough liquid to cover them.

Seal and leave to cool, then store in the fridge for 2 weeks before using. The pickles will keep getting tastier and hotter, and will keep in the fridge for up to 2 months.