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kerala green chilli pickle

Puli Milagai - Instant Green Chilli Pickle

Puli Milagai is an Instant pickle from Kerala in which green chillies are cooked & stewed in a tangy tamarind sauce that is served as a side dish with rice, dosas and pooris. It is also vegan and gluten free.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine South Indian
Servings 1 small bottle


  • Green chillies - 100 gms 20-25 nos approx.,
  • Tamarind - 1 lemon size
  • Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
  • Jaggery - 1 betel nut size or 2 tsp (kotta paaku size)
  • Sesame oil - 5 tbsp
  • Rock Salt - 1 fistful



  • Soak tamarind in 1/2 cup of hot water for 10 to 15 mins. Extract juice and set aside.
  • Wash the green chillies. Remove the stalk fully and wipe with a kitchen towel to get rid of any moisture. You can also dry it out under a fan.
  • Slit each chilli all the way down keeping it intact. Set aside.

How to make puli milagai:

  • Heat a pan and keep the flame low.
  • Add fenugreek seeds and roast it well. Keep tossing frequently.
  • The colour should become dark in colour. Take off stove and let it cool completely.
  • Transfer to a mixie jar and grind to a fine powder. Set aside.
  • Heat the same pan over medium flame.
  • Add sesame oil and when it gets warm, add mustard seeds.
  • Let it crackle. Now add asafoetida and let it roast in oil.
  • Add the green chillies and mix well so that they get coated with oil.
  • Saute till the skin of the green chillies get blisters and the chillies shrink a little in size.
  • Add tamarind extract, salt, turmeric powder and mix well and let it come to a rolling boil.
  • Add fenugreek powder and mix well. Cook for 2 mins.
  • Add jaggery and mix well.
  • Simmer the flame & cook for 10 to 15 mins. The sauce would have thickened.
  • Switch off and take the pan off the stove. The sauce will thicken further while it cools down to room temperature. Do not close the pan with lid at any point.
  • Transfer to a clean and dry jar or bottle. It stays good for a week at room temperature and for a month when refrigerated.
  • Serve this puli milagai with rice, pooris or dosas.