sirke wale pyaaz or pickled onions | how to make sirke wale pyaaz

by dassana amit updated December 27, 2013

pickled onions, sirke wale pyaaz

sirke wale pyaaz or pickled onions - a sour & faintly sweet accompaniment that you will get to see in north indian restaurants. these small pink or reddish colored onions are a must with punjabi food. i do make these beautifully looking as well awesome tasting pickled onions at home but never ever got to clicking the pics and posting the recipe.

in north indian restaurants they are commonly served as many people love their taste and often ask for it. so if you ask, then these pickled onions are often served complementary with the meal like pickles.

small red onions are marinated in vinegar, water and salt and kept for 2-3 days. so the onions soften with the taste of the vinegar in them and even loose their pungency. so the result are onions with a sour taste from the vinegar with their light sweet inherent taste.

whenever we go to any south indian restaurants, we always ask for sirke wale pyaaz, if we don’t see them being served with the main course. but most of the times we have been disappointed as what they serve is a red or orange colored sliced onions with lime slices….. and sometimes they do serve these pickled onions, but their taste is miles away from perfection and balance.

to make these pickled onions, we have to ideally use small red onions. you can even use shallots. in the absence of red onions, a small piece of beetroot is added for the red coloring. i have never added beetroot. I make these with small onions, white or red whatever i get locally.

its an easy pickle recipe which does not take much time in preparation. after 2-3 days, you can keep these onions in the fridge and they last for more days.

using a lot of vinegar makes the onions very sour. i have learnt how to make these pickled onions from my mil and she always advises not to use too much vinegar. also there is no need to cover the onions completely with the vinegar-water solution. just shake the jar for 2-3 times in a day till the pickle is ready.

sirke wale pyaaz recipe

these onions go very well tandoori snacks or rich curry dishes like paneer butter masala, kadai paneer, palak paneerdal makhanitandoori aloo or any rich curry dish of your choice. they also pair great with dal tadka or dal fry served with jeera rice or saffron rice.

they also make a good filling for burgers or sandwiches or in pita breads instead of plain onions.

sirke wale pyaaz or pickled onions recipe below:

pickled onions or sirke wale pyaaz
Prep time
Total time
sirke wale pyaaz or pickled onions – sour & lightly sweet in taste,
Recipe type: side
Cuisine: north indian
Serves: 3-4
  • 15-20 small red onions or shallots
  • 1 tsp white vinegar or apple cider or balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¾ tsp salt or as required
  1. peel and rinse the onions.
  2. place all the onions in a glass jar or ceramic jar or any non reactive jar.
  3. add the vinegar, water and salt to the onions.
  4. shake the bottle.
  5. let the onion sit in the vinegar-salt solution for 2-3 days.
  6. shake the bottle 2-3 times in a day.
  7. serve the sirke wala pyaaz with any indian main course.
  8. refrigerate after the onions are pickled.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Asmita June 17, 2013 1

Sounds funny but seriously I can eat the whole jar of this. Love onions with my Indian food.


suhani June 13, 2013 2

we often make this pickle in summers..tastes great..


Shumaila June 13, 2013 3

My husband loves sirke wale pyaaz. In fact that’s the only thing he enters in the kitchen to make. But now since he has stopped doing even that, I have to take the charge. Thanks for reminding me how easy they are and I shouldn’t be lazy!


Ruchika June 13, 2013 4

I thought that pickled onions are immersed completely in vinegar. but as per ur recipe it is 1 tsp vinegar to 1/4 cup water. Hope there has nt been an error. Please confirm


dassana June 14, 2013 5

the recipe is right ruchika. i generally don’t immerse them completely in vinegar. in fact, for the amount of small onions mentioned here, the water-vinegar solution was just covering 1/4 of the jar from the base. too much vinegar makes the onions very sour.


aparna June 13, 2013 6

i was wondering how cum pink color in onion ! every time when i have this onion :) its because of vinegar :) my favorite ! i use to dip it in the kebab chutney and taste ! yummy !


nags June 13, 2013 7

i love them too. never thought of making them at home though! :)