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May 7, 2014


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Vengaya oorugai
Basically I love pickles a lot. I can have it with paruppu sadam and lemon rice too. I need to have minimum one pickle as a side dish for curd rice. But Sendhil is just opposite to me. He don’t like pickle as well as papad. So i always buy varieties of pickles from stores only for me. Also I never try to attempt on my own except instant mango pickle though I know pickles are very easy to prepare .

Whenever my MIL visits my place, I tell her to make some pickle for me as she is an expert in making it. She happily prepares it for me. This time I requested her to make South indian style chinna vengaya oorugai / Onion pickle (also called as Madras onion pickle or sambar onion pickle) as I love it from my childhood. She made it in no time following my friend Shalini’s recipe. 

We enjoyed with curd rice,  idli & dosa. I loved it absolutely and all the pickle vanished within two days. Try this recipe, you’ll make it often. Soon I’ll share a post for onion thokku/Vengaaya thokku which is a great side dish for roti/Chapathi. Lets see how to make this easy onion pickle recipe.

Vengaya oorugai recipe

Onion pickle recipe/Vengaaya oorugai

Onion pickle recipe/Vengaaya oorugai Easy onion pickle recipe-Great accompaniment for curd rice, idli, dosa
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Pickle
Serves: 1 cup
Prep time: 15 Minutes
Cook time: 20 Minutes
Total time: 35 Minutes

1 cup - 250ml
  • Small onions/Chinna vengayam/Shallots - 2 cups
  • Tamarind - Big lemon size
  • Red chilli powder – 1.5- 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt - as needed
  • Roasted methi seeds powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Jaggery - 2 tsp (use 1 tsp for mild sweetness)
  • Hing - 1/4 tsp
To temper
  • Gingely oil – 3 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Urad dal - 1/2 tsp

    Wash and peel the small onions. Immerse in water till use. Chop them very finely and set aside. Soak tamarind in enough water till you chop the onions. Then take the tamarind extract and keep aside.

    Heat a kadai with gingely oil and splutter mustard seeds,urad dal.
    Add chopped onions with required salt. Saute well till it turns transparent and shrinks in quantity. Add turmeric powder& saute for few seconds.

    Now add the tamarind extract, red chilli powder, hing, jaggery and boil for few minutes till onions gets cooked well. Mash it with the back of the ladle every now and then so that onions will give a togetherness to this pickle.

    Pickle will thicken. Check for taste. Add more chilli powder & salt if it tastes too tangy OR add little more tamarind juice with salt if the pickle tastes more spicy. Now add the roasted methi seeds powder, saute for a minute and switch off the flame.

    Remove and store in a box after it cools down completely.
    Use a clean spoon for use. Refrigerated and enjoy for a week.


  • Chop the onions very finely. It is mandatory otherwise pickle won't give a togetherness.
  • Adjust the quantity of chilli powder based on its spiciness. Start with one spoon and add more if necessary.
  • Gingely oil and mustard acts as preservative. So never skip it.
  • Jaggery helps to balance the spicy & tangy taste in pickle. But never add more as it makes the pickle sweet.

Tastes great with curd rice,idli,dosa & roti !!
Onion pickle recipe

Enjoy ! 
Onion pickle recipe

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great-secret-of-life said...

simple and tasty oorugai.. one of my aunt's specialty Recently I hv asked for her recipe it is in my to do list.. yours is tempting me too much :-)

Chitra said...

Thanks for the quick comment dear.I'll check urs too :)

Rafeeda AR said...

This looks really so good... apart from peeling the shallots, I am sure this tasted really awesome...

Menaga Sathia said...

Looks soo good,perfect side dih for idli n dosa!!

sathya said...

Pickles with shallots is quite new to me, looks delicious!

Appetite Treats


ரொம்ப வித்தியசமாக சூப்பராக இருக்கின்றது...இதே மாதிரி 4 - 5 வருடங்களுக்கு முன்பு அருசுவையில் பார்த்து பூண்டியில் செய்து இருக்கின்றேன்... இதனை இட்லி , தோசைக்கு கூட சாப்பிடலாமா...

Chitra said...

U can have with idli dosa tastes mildly spicy,sweet and tangy :)

nandoos kitchen said...

tasty onion pickle.. would make a perfect side dish.

Unknown said...

This looks really so good... but calls for patience. peeling those timy shallots.. but the final outcome deserves it

Sundari Nathan said...

thats a super-delish pickle. looks very tempting :)

Priya said...

My grandma used to peel the shallots by putting them in water after cutting the edges .She used to make special vadams by peeling shallots this way .

Priya said...

Pickle looks so yummy .My mom makes vengayam thakkali thokku .This is very diff and tempting

Anusha said...

Looks inviting. We call this onion thokku and when combined with curd rice, its a match made in heaven

Chitra said...

Yes,putting in water avoids watery eyes too :) Thanks Sathya priya :)

Chitra said...

We grind onions and make thokku.Planning to share it soon :)

Unknown said...

This looks tempting....... Lovely shots!

Unknown said...

very tempting recipe...simple and easy to make..thanks Chithra :-)

Kaveri Venkatesh said...

Have tasted only store bought onion pickle and loved it...yours looks so tempting and mouthwatering..will try for sure

Padmajha said...

This looks so tempting ! Love to have this with curd rice. Book marked and going to try it out soon...

Gayathri Anand said...

Yummy Oorugai ..Would love to try it ..

Shama Nagarajan said...

drooling mom's fav...recipe