Achari Masala is an Indian spice mix that is used to make pickles. You can also use it to make achar flavored curries or snacks. Here is how to make it.
If you like homemade spices mixes, then do try these as well – Masala Chai Spice Mix, Zaatar Mix, Chaat Masala, and Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix.
About This Recipe
Achar or pickle has been an Indian tradition and most households have a family recipe to make different varieties of pickles. To make the Indian style pickles, a spice blend is added to vegetables or other ingredients, and this spice mix is called Achari Masala.
Apart from using this spice mix to make pickles, you can add it to curries and snacks to give them a tangy, slightly bitter, and spicy pickle-like flavor.
The best Achari Masala is made at home. Homemade masala is made using high-quality ingredients and is free of any chemical color or preservatives.
Use it to make Achari Chicken, Achari Aloo, Achari Paneer, Achari Gobhi, Achari Paneer Tikka, Achari Turai, Achari Chole or Achari Bhindi.
This recipe makes approximately 1 cup of masala. You can easily scale up or down the recipe.
All the ingredients to make this recipe are available in Indian grocery stores. Check the one that is nearest to you.
Dry Red Chilies – Try to use Kashmiri red chilies as they give a lovely color to this masala without making it too spicy.
Whole Spices – You will need coriander seeds, nigella seeds (kalonji), fennel seeds (saunf), mustard seeds (sarson), fenugreek seeds (methi), and cumin seeds (jeera).
Others – You will also need salt, turmeric powder, asafoetida (hing), and dry mango powder (amchoor).
How To Make Achari Masala
Add 16-18 Kashmiri dry red chilies (stalks removed), 2 tablespoon coriander seeds (dhaniya), 2 teaspoon nigella seeds (kalonji), 6 tablespoon fennel seeds (saunf), 4 tablespoon mustard seeds (sarson), 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds(methi dana), 6 tablespoon cumin seeds (jeera) to a pan, and dry roast on medium heat until browned and fragrant (8-10 minutes). Keep stirring while roasting.
Remove the pan from the heat and cool the ingredients completely.
Add the roasted ingredients to a grinder or a food processor along with 4 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon asafetida (hing), and 4 teaspoon dry mango powder (amchoor).
Grind to make a slightly coarse powder. Store the achari masala in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months. Use as required.
Pro Tips By Neha
The color of the masala depends on the variety of dry red chilies used to make it. I always use the best quality Kashmiri dry red chilies as they give it a lovely bright color.
Roast the spices on medium-low heat to release the flavors. Roasting them on high heat will burn them and the taste of the spice mix will be not as good.
Fenugreek seeds and nigella seeds add bitterness to this masala. So keep their quantity to a minimum.
Grind the masala to a coarse powder and not very smooth for the best flavors.
This recipe can be easily halved, doubled, or tripled.
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Achari Masala Recipe (Indian Pickle Spice Mix)
- 16-18 Kashmiri dry red chilies (stalks removed)
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds (dhaniya)
- 2 teaspoons nigella seeds (kalonji)
- 6 tablespoons fennel seeds (saunf)
- 4 tablespoons mustard seeds( sarson)
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi)
- 6 tablespoons cumin seeds (jeera)
- 4 tablespoons salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon asafetida (hing)
- 4 teaspoons dry mango powder (amchoor)
- Add Kashmiri dry red chilies, coriander seeds, nigella seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds to a pan, and dry roast on medium heat until browned and fragrant (8-10 minutes). Keep stirring while roasting.
- Remove the pan from the heat and cool the ingredients completely.
- Add the roasted ingredients to a grinder or a food processor along with salt, turmeric powder, asafetida, and dry mango powder.
- Grind to make a slightly coarse powder. Store the achari masala in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months. Use as required.
Masala looks very flavorful .
First time here.happily following you…follow me back Neha.
love the flavour, sometimes i use the masala from the pickle to season my dal n veggies and also add to chicken, paneer…..almost anything, thanks, will make this too.
I have tried the masala in stuffed parathas and they taste awesome.
Your recipe for masala is nice.
Can I use Kashmiri chilli powder instead of whole chillies. If yes, how much?
Sure, replace the whole chilies with 1/4 cup chili powder.
tHANK YOU FOR SHARING THESE BEAUTIFUL RECIPES- iTS LIKE MUSIC IN YOUR MOUTH THE DIFFERENT SPICE MAKING FOOD SO TASTY
Thanks for the wonderful recipe, I am very much inspired by your recipes and I proudly say this is my 1st recipe of my cooking life.
I have a doubt , Mine didnot turned red in colour, is it maybe because of less red chillies added? I added everything as mentioned in the ingredients list.
Thanks in advance for your reply.
Hi, Thnx for your kind words. The colour of this masala comes from the variety of dried red chilli used. I have used very good quality Kashmiri Red Chilies for this one. If your colour is still not red, you can try adding some powdered Kashmiri mirch powder to your masala and skip the dried chillies.
Thanks Nehaji, for my next batch I will try to add Kashmiri mirch powder as you explained to get this texture. (The texture from your recipe is mouth watering , So i want to achieve the same colour) 🙂
I am sure you will get it. I have also updated the recipe with ore details. Please do let me know if you want me to add anything else.
Your blog is amazing I have made so many of your recipes and they are always crowd pleasers. Thank you so much for sharing. Please don’t stop.
Thnx a lot for trying out the recipes 🙂
What is the alternative for onion seeds
There is no alternative but you can skip adding them.
I was totally unaware that such a thing as a pickle spice existed. While surfing the net I stumbled upon ‘achari alu’ which contained achar masala as one of its ingredients. My search for home made pickle spice recipe brought me to your blog. I will try this out for sure. Is onion seed a rare item?
Sure. Do try. Onion seed is kalonji.
Hi Neha, somehow my masala turned out bitter. I am not sure why, maybe it got a little more roasted. Please suggest on how I can remove the bitterness.
Hi Divya, it’s very unfortunate to hear this. I hope you followed the measurements correctly. If fenugreek seeds, onion seeds and mustard seeds are added in excess, the masala can become bitter. Do try to stick to the given measurements when you make it next and let me know if it works. Thnx
Hi What is the Hindi term for fennel seeds?
Thank you for your recipie. Made the masala yesterday for chicken. It is very tasty. Putting some in a jar to gift to a friend, who is moving.
It’s very nice i like it
Thanks for the recipe. It’s too good. This helped me prepare the “Achari Turai” recipe.
It’s a very versatile powder 🙂
I cannot have chillies at all is it ok if I skip and for red colour maybe add Paprika
Thanks for this recipe. I made it and it tastes amazing. However, the colour isn’t as red as yours. I didn’t have whole Kashmiri red chillies, so used the Andhra variety. But I added almost 6 tsp of Kashmiri chilli powder, and it’s still very green in colour. I’d have to add maybe 20 tsp of Kashmiri chilli powder for the red colour.
Are the measurements for cumin, fennel and coriander seeds in tbsp or tsp? I feel if it were tsp, then I’d get the red colour.
The colour of this masala depends totally on the quality of chillis used. Do try to make it with only Kashmiri Chilli Next time.
Thanks for your reply.
This may sound weird, but my masala has gotten redder over the last 2 weeks, totally did not anticipate that 😅
Hi there! just found your article when I was looking for making Achari masala recipe.
Thanks for sharing very well written and worth reading this article.
wish to see more in the coming days.
Awesome recipe I wil definitely try thank you so much 💕