Yazhpana [Jaffna] Style Achcharu

Achcharu is a very popular side dish in Sri Lanka, and there are 2 varieties of it, either the Jaffna style or the Sinhalese style. Achcharu is actually spiced, pickled greens, that is eaten as a side dish for rice or pittu. It’s a must have in the tamil kitchen, if you ask me. No meal is complete without achcharu 😉

The recipe below is based on my first attempt ever – try it! It makes a jar for about 900 g.

!! Use a clean, totally dry glass jar. You’ll need a non-corrosive bowl, a mortar and a wooden spoon.


  • 2 cups of white wine vinegar
  • 5 cm ginger, in small pieces
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2½ tea spoons of mustard seeds
  • 3 tea spoons of red chili powder
  • 2 tea spoons of turmeric
  • 4 tea spoons of cane sugar
  • salt as per taste


  • 300 g of shallots (chinna vengayam)
  • 100 g of green chilies
  • 2 carrots, julienned

NOTE: Clean the vegetables, but make sure they are totally dry before making achcharu. There must be NO water at all!

You can prick the larger onions and slice the chilies with a dry knife (or any other dry, sharp object, so that they can be properly pickled.


Clean and prepare the vegetables, and dry them properly in a clean, DRY dish towel or napkins. Make sure that there a no water at all. Keep them aside in your bowl.

In a motar, crush the ginger, garlic and mustard seeds into a raw paste. Add the salt, turmeric and red chili powder and blend it with the crushed ginger/garlic/mustard seeds paste.

Add the paste to the vegetables with sugar and vinegar. Mix it with a wooden spoon before tranferring it all into a tight glass jar.

You shall keep it tightly closed for minimum 5-6 days before you can eat it. Shake the jar once in a while.

Always use a clean, dry spoon or fork when picking up the veggies from the jar.

Tried the achcharu yesterday, that I prepared 5 days back. Tastes exactly like expected 😀

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