Chili pickle-Athela Marcha is a favorite condiment in Gujarat, India. Mildly spicy green chilies pickled with split mustard, salt, turmeric, and lemon. It is spicy and tangy.
Winter is a peak season for Mora Marcha(mildly spicy green chili) in Gujarat. My Ammi(mother) pickled Indian chilies and carrot jillions with split and skinned yellow mustard every winter season.
Our neighbor in India owns a large farm that produces mildly spicy green Chilies(Mora Marcha). Every winter my Ammi and our neighbor would take turns pickling each other's large batches of pickles at each other's home. That's how neighbors look out for one another and tackle the winter together in Gujarat, India ;).
Ingredients for Chili Pickle
All the ingredients used for this recipe are easily available at any Indian grocery store around the US. Feel free to comment if you have any questions regarding the ingredients.
- Chili Peppers: Any mildly spicy green chilies would work great for this recipe. Indian green chilies, Jalapenos, Shishito, or sweet mini peppers would work great. I have a recipe for Instant Shishito pepper pickle as well.
- Slit Yellow Mustard Seeds: Mustard seeds skinned and split into halves. This is the main ingredient in the Athela Marcha recipe. You may purchase it online or at an Indian grocery store.
- Lemon Wedges: Lemon wedges are great for pickling and preserving green chilies.
- Turmeric Powder: Indian pickles always contain turmeric powder. It gives a great color and flavor to pickle recipes.
- Oil: any cooking oil would work fine. I prefer vegetable oil or olive oil for this recipe.
- Salt: table salt, sea salt, or Himalayan pink salt are great options.
How to Make Athela Marcha/Chili Pickle?
If you like spicy pickles, you would absolutely love this chili pickle recipe. Traditionally Athela Marcha is made with very mild chili peppers. I have always had a difficult time finding mild green chilies in America.
I have found a handful of great substitutes for Gujarati chilies. Our local Indian grocery store carries long and thick green chilies that are mildly spicy compared to other green chilies found in America. Jalapenos are also a good option for this recipe. If you can handle a lot of heat, go for Serrano. I won't dare to pickle anything spicier than Serrano though lol.
Sweet mini peppers can make a great substitute as well. Honestly, you can use any chili peppers of your choice to make this pickle as long as you are okay with the heat.
How to Serve Gujarati Pickle?
This chili pickle recipe makes a great condiment to any boring meal if you love spicy. The longer it sits, the better it tastes. It makes a great condiment next to simple Dal-Chawal(Lentil & Rice), Kadi chawal, Paratha, Biryani, or any desi comfort dish.
It also goes great with a juicy burger, sandwich, steak, grilled chicken, fish, or on a slice of Pizza.
More Recipes to Serve Athela Marcha with:
- Oven-roasted Mackerel
- Baked Fish Masala
- Mutton Biryani Recipe
- Easy Chicken Biryani
- Chicken Curry
- One-Pot Spicy Vegetable Rice
Substitute for Chili
I understand that not everyone can tolerate the heat of chili peppers. Carrots are a great substitute to pickle instead of green chilies for this recipe. Peel and jillion the carrots to pickle and for easy serving.
Kitchen Tools You'll Need:
Chili Pickle | Gujarati Athela Marcha Recipe
- ½ pound green chili peppers , mild spicy like shishito, jalapeno, or Indian green chilies
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 lemon , cut into wedges
- ¼ cup split mustard seeds (Rai na Kuria)
- 3 Tablespoons oil
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt , ½ teaspoon for less salty
- Rinse chili peppers under running water and dry them completely with a paper towel. Remove crowns and split them from the top lengthwise into halves then cut them into 1-inch pieces.
- Rinse the lemon and slice them into thin circles. Cut each round slice into four quarters.
- Transfer cut chilies into a clean and dry prep bowl. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon turmeric powder. Stir well and let it rest for 15 minutes. Turmeric and salt will help release extra moisture from the chili.
- Meanwhile, combine split mustard seeds, salt, and turmeric in a medium glass bowl. Heat 3 tablespoons of hot oil in a skillet then transfer hot oil into the mustard mixture in a bowl. Cover the bowl with a lid and let the mixture rest for 10 minutes.
- Spread the chilies on a paper towel. Use another paper towel to dry all the moisture from the chilies.
- Transfer the chilies and lemon wedges into the bowl with oil and mustard mixture. Stir everything well until well combined.
- Transfer the chili 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.