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How to Make Quick Indian Pickled Onions

indian pickled onions

Indian pickled onions are zesty, sharp, tangy, and are the perfect way to brighten up salads, beans, avocado toasts, eggs, tachos, tandoori chicken, pulled pork, grilled meats, and/or fish. 

What is in my Indian pickled onions?!?!?

  • Mustard seeds (tangy)
  • Cumin seeds (Indian complexity)
  • Maple syrup (sweetness)
  • Rice vinegar (zinginess)
  • Serrano pepper (spicy and optional)
  • Salt (needed in everything)
  • Bay leaf (cause why not)
indian pickled onions

How long do Indian pickled onions last?

Store in a sealed jar for up to 3 weeks, but they won’t last 3 days! 

indian pickled onions in a jar

Savory’s Tips & Tricks

  • Vinegar: use apple cider for a stronger taste, a white vinegar for lighter or a combination of the two.
  • Sweetener: use honey, maple syrup, sugar (my preference is coconut palm).
  • Seasonings: use whole peppercorns, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red pepper flakes, coriander seeds, and/or bay leaf. 
  • Omit the serrano chili pepper for less spicy or use a dry red chili pepper!
  • Flavor according to your dish. If using for Mexican cuisine: cumin; Indian: mustard, cumin, coriander; Salads: peppercorns, bayleaf, mustard. 

Savory’s Pairing Recommendations

Pair with my half tandoori chicken or with my roasted curry vegetables! 

indian pickled onions with tandoori chicken air fryer

I would love to hear all the creative ways you used your pickled onions! Leave your comments below. Pin this recipe for later! 

indian pickled onions

How to make Indian Pickled Onions in 3 Easy Steps

Becky Shergill
Bold, sharp, zesty quick way to brighten your salads, tacos, bbq meats, and much more!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course condiment
Cuisine Indian, Vegan


  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey/sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leave
  • 1 serrano pepper, cut a slit in the middle


  • Place the onions in at least a one pint mason jar or larger.
  • Place all other ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat stirring until well combined.
  • Pour slowly and carefully over onions using a knife to push them down. Keep in mind it will be a tight fit however the onions shrink as you pour in the liquid.
  • Let onions cool to room temperature for at least 30 minutes then use immediately or store in the fridge until ready to use.


  • Store for up to 3 weeks.
  • Garnish with tacos, beans, nachos, salads, eggs, avocado toast, tandoori chicken
  • Substitute or add different spices such as coriander seeds, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, fennel seeds….(I like to base it on what I’m pairing the onions with).  
Keyword pickled onions,, quick pickled onions,

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