Indian Recipes

Turmeric Cucumber (Haldi Ka Achar)

An oil-free, 3-ingredient and the simplest yet delicious pickle, this Turmeric Pickle or Haldi Ka Achar is a Gujarati specialty and is made with kachcha haldi or fresh turmeric root, lemon juice and salt. While this turmeric pickle recipe is tangy, there’s another sweet Gujarati jam called Aam Chunda that’s made with green, unripe mangoes that you absolutely must try before the mango season is over.

Turmeric cucumber in a small black bowl with rice and curry on the side

My attempt with this cucumber

I have always considered turmeric to be an important spice in my recipes and dishes in general because of the unique natural color it can add to any dish and its many nutritional benefits.

While enjoying a regular lunch at one of our Gujarati friends, she had served us two pickles. One was with fresh turmeric roots and the other with mango ginger roots (aam haldi or amba haldi).

The pickles were really simple with no oil or spices. But the flavors hit a jackpot for my taste buds! I loved them so much that I decided to try the recipe at home, especially the Haldi Ka Achar.

I have a good collection of cookbooks and I read about a cucumber recipe with ginger, turmeric and mango ginger in Gujarati Kitchen: Family Recipes for the Global Palate, a cookbook by Bhanu Hajratwala. So I loosely adapted this turmeric pickle recipe from there.

About Turmeric Pickle

No pickle can get as easy as this turmeric pickle as it requires no cooking and is done by simply mixing the ingredients. The only time it takes is to prepare the fresh and raw turmeric roots by peeling and chopping/slicing them.

Collage of whole fresh turmeric roots and chopped fresh turmeric roots with lemons.

Then simply dip them into a large bowl or directly into a glass jar along with the squeezed lemon juice and salt. Cover the jar and refrigerate the Haldi Ka Achar for 6 days. After that, the cucumber is ready to serve and can be stored in the refrigerator for about 2 months.

During these 6 days you need to shake the jar once a day and put it back in the fridge. The lemon juice needs to cover the turmeric completely to keep the cucumber from spoiling.

turmeric cucumber or haldi ka achar in a jar on a checkered tablecloth.

As an alternative, this turmeric pickle recipe can also be made with mango ginger instead of turmeric roots. If you like a little spice factor in your pickles, you can also add a few green chilies.

However, you must be careful that the turmeric does not stain your hands either. So don’t settle for something white (board or napkin). Also avoid wearing white clothes.

Turmeric Pickle is great when served before meals to aid in digestion, as well as with meals for a delicious punch.

Along with that lovely turmeric pickle, try including this turmeric milk or haldi doodh in your diet. It’s a natural, immune-boosting drink with a foolproof recipe.

Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric in any form is a true gem for the human system due to its various health benefits. Ayurveda, traditional Chinese, and Siddha traditions also endorse it for its many medicinal properties and uses.

Read on to learn why your food needs to be good friends with this common spice.

  1. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and has antioxidants. Thus, it helps in reducing inflammation of tonsils, throat, knees, etc. and relieves many pains. A gargle made from turmeric, salt and warm water is effective against a sore throat.
  2. It is antimicrobial and has great activity against certain pathogens.
  3. A paste of turmeric and salt can be used on human skin to heal swelling, bruises, and abrasions.
  4. According to Ayurveda, turmeric is super good for digestion.

expert tips

  • Make sure the lemon juice completely covers the turmeric or the cucumber could spoil.
  • As an alternative to fresh ginger, you can also use mango ginger or edible wild turmeric in this recipe.
  • To give the cucumber some heat, you can add green chilies.
  • The jar or bottle you use to store the pickle must be clean and well sterilized. Store the cucumber in a glass or ceramic jar. Do not use a plastic container.
  • The cucumber takes about a week to ripen. Store the cucumber in the refrigerator while it ripens. When the cucumber is ready, continue to refrigerate and store for about 2 months. It stays good for so long.

More popular Indian pickles to try!

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Turmeric cucumber in a jar on a checkered napkin

Turmeric Cucumber (Haldi Ka Achar)

An oil-free, 3-ingredient and the simplest yet flavorful pickle, this Turmeric Pickle or Haldi Ka Achar is a Gujarati specialty and is made with fresh and raw turmeric roots, lemon juice and salt.

preparation time 15 minutes

total time 15 minutes

cooking modePrevent your screen from going dark while preparing the recipe

  • First, rinse the turmeric roots thoroughly with water.

  • Peel and cut them into small pieces. This is very important. Don’t chop them into large chunks.

  • Extract the juice from the lemons and set aside.

  • In a non-reactive bowl, add the chopped turmeric chunks, salt, and lemon juice. Stir to combine evenly.

  • Put everything in a clean sterilized jar.

  • Close the jar with the lid and keep in the fridge for 6 days.

  • Shake the jar every day. After 6 days the cucumber is ready to serve.

  • Serve a very small serving, about ½ to 1 teaspoon, of the turmeric pickle with any Indian meal.

  • This Haldi Ka Achar keeps for a good 2 months in the fridge.

  • Add more lemon juice if needed. The cucumber should always be covered by a layer of lemon juice.
  • Remember to store the turmeric pickle in the fridge. Do not store at room temperature as it may spoil.
  • To make a slightly larger batch, scale up the recipe.

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This turmeric pickle archival post, first published in May 2014, was republished and updated on May 20, 2022.

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