Indian Pickled Onions Recipe – Sirke Wala Pyaaz

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The sirke wala pyaaz is an easy to make Indian pickled onions recipe that uses just a few ingredients. Popularly served in Indian restaurants, here’s how to make pyaaz sirka at home easily.

Love that crunchy onion pickle that’s served in Indian restaurants? You know, the pinkish tinged onion rings that are just so sweet, and just so salty, and just so tangy and just so crunchy? We love it too! Much more than we love mango pickle or tomato pickle. But you don’t have to wait till you go to a restaurant to eat your favorite pickle. Here’s how to easily make the sirke wala pyaaz at home!

What ingredients do you need for pickling onions?

We make enough pickled onions to last a week at a time. So our quantities are a tad big. Cut them in half if you want to. Anyways, we use 4 medium-large onions cut in rings, 2 slit green chillies, 5 tbsp sugar, 3 tbsp salt, 200 ml vinegar and 300 ml water. If you don’t want to use red onions, use about 500 grams of white onions or shallots cut vertically into wedges.

How to make Indian pickled onions?

There’s no rocket science of how to pickle onions. It’s a simple age-old method that takes just a few minutes and results in some great tasting pickled red onions, and even some yummy quick-pickled white onions.

Simply cut the onions into rings, put them in a jar with the rest of the ingredients, and leave it be for 24 hours. That’s really it. There’s no need to heat the brine at all. We’ve seen quite a few recipes out there that require pre-heating a solution of salt and sugar, or adding color, and whatnot. But we do it naturally. Yep, just throw stuff together and forget about it for 24 hours.

Also, you can use any vinegar, but we prefer to use apple cider vinegar since it’s a tad healthier.

After 24 hours, take the onions out of the vinegar solution transfer to another container and refrigerate till you eat them. These onions will last for a week or so.

And don’t just throw away the vinegar solution. Reuse it! That’s what we do. Add one or 2 more tbsps more of vinegar to the solution, and dunk some new onions in there. We reuse the brine up to 3 times. You could use it a lot longer, but after a few times it starts to stink really bad because of the sulphurous acids that have been removed from the onions. So to save them noses, it’s time to discard the solution.

But that’s really it! Simple tart and crunchy pickled onions the way it’s served in Indian restaurants with delicious Indian food!

Chillies, Salt and sugar removed on the plate.
All you need is chillies, salt and sugar
Slit the onion horizontally in thin slices.
That means you need to chop them horizontally
After slicing separate the onion rings.
Separate the onion rings
Slit two chillies along with onion rings.
You also need two slit green chillies
Fill the onion rings in a jar.
Fill the onion rings into a glass jar or bottle
Add water and vinegar to the onion ring in the jar.
Fill the bottle with water and vinegar
Let the pickle rest for 24 hours or more.
Let the pickle rest for 24 hours or more
Present the crispy onion sirka in a bowl.
Serve the crispy onion sirka
Onion pickle stored in a glass jar.
Store the rest in a glass jar

You can also make pickled shallots

Shallots are easier to cut than red onions. They just require chopping into quarters and adding to the vinegar brine. We sometimes also add a bit of turmeric to make it healthier.

Make the same recipe with onion shallots.
We also do this with shallots
Serve delicious pickled shallots in a bowl.
Yummy pickled shallots

Add Beetroot for Natural Pink Color

Want the pickled onions to look pretty?Add some slices of beetroot to the pickling mixture. You don’t need to cook the beetroot like in other recipes. We just throw a few slices in there and the color is absorbed naturally.

The beetroot of course loses color and turns whitish, but it’s good to eat too.

Cut the beetroot into slices.
Cut beetroot slices
Add the beetroot and onions to a glass jar.
Add the beetroot and onions to a glass jar
Add the sugar, salt, water, and vinegar to the jar.
Add the sugar, salt, water, and vinegar
Let the onion and beetroot pickle rest for couple of days.
After 2 days
Separate onion rings marinated with beetroot gives the colour.
The beetroot really gives it a red color

Cooking Tips and Alternatives

  • If you don’t want red onions rings, use shallots aka white onions, and cut them into four quarters.
  • For a healthier version, add half a teaspoon of the turmeric powder to the brining solution.
  • Serve with rotis or rice and your favorite curries, be it butter beans curry, mutton paya curry, or mustard chicken.
  • If you want a natural pink colour, add some sliced beetroots to the mix when you soak it.

Other Pickle Recipes You Might Like

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Separate onion rings marinated with beetroot gives the colour.

Indian Pickled Onions Recipe – Sirke Wala Pyaaz

The sirke wala pyaaz is an easy to make Indian pickled onions recipe that uses just a few ingredients. Make it at home restaurant style.
5 out of 5 Stars by 2 readers!

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Prep Time 10 mins
Resting time 1 d
Total Time 1 d 10 mins
Course Pickle
Cuisine Indian


  • 4 Red Onions Medium Large (About 500 to 600 grams)
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 5 tbsp Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Salt
  • 200 ml Vinegar
  • 300 ml Water


  • 0.5 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 5 Beetroot slices


  • Cut the onions into rings and slit the green chillies. (If using shallots, use about 500 grams and cut into 4 to 6 parts each.)
  • Put onions in a jar with the sugar, salt, vinegar, and water.
  • Optionally, for a healthier pickle, add some turmeric powder.
  • Another option we sometimes use is to add some beetroot slices for a natural pink color.
  • Leave aside for 24 hours and then it is ready to serve.

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  • Chop the onions horizontally to get the rings or the shallots vertically to get wedges.
  • Slit the green chillies lengthwise.
  • Add turmeric for a healthier version.
  • Add beetroot for a natural pink colour.
Picture of onion ring pickle and pickled shallot.
Set the pickle to rest for 24 hours or more.
Pinterest image of onion, beetroot water, sugar, vinegar and salt in a jar.

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