Monday, August 3, 2015

Quick and Easy Pickled Onions - Sirke Wale Pyaaz

Sirke Wala Pyaaz or Pickled Onions is super easy and quick recipe for making this delicious condiment that is very popularly seen in Indian restaurants. A complimentary condiment platter of pickle, lemon wedges and some pickled onions is a common sight in most Indian restaurants. Making these pickled onions at home is even more delicious and super easy. They are as easy as soaking these peeled and washed onions into a mixture made of water vinegar, salt and sugar. 15-30 mins of marination and you are ready to enjoy better than restaurant type sirkewala pyaaz at home. 

These being so easy and instant to make I tend to make these very often especially on days when we have Dal on the menu. Soaking the onions in vinegar helps reducing the pungent onion flavor and giving it a sweet and sour taste that complements most Indian food be it dals or sabzis, vegetarian or non vegetarian food. It also enhances the color giving them a lovely pinkish red color. Adding sugar to the vinegar water mixture is optional but it really helps balance the acidity and bring out the natural sweetness of the onions. Along with Indian food, pickled onions can also be added to salads, sandwiches, wraps,rolls and burgers. They truly enhance the flavor and take the dish to the next level. 

I've used small red onion also known as pearl onions for this recipe. These look very cute and appealing giving the restaurant type vibe but honestly peeling and working with these pearls can get tedious at times. The super easy alternative is using our regular large red onion. Just slice them into thin julienne slices and soak. 

The recipe I am sharing is more of quick/instant pickle onions i.e. you can make these half and hour to overnight ahead of your meal. Incase you want to use them after a couple of days reduce the vinegar content as the onions may become too sour. 

Now to the recipe... 

1 Bag of pearl red onions (10oz-283gms) or 1 large red onion thinly sliced
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
pinch of red chilli powder(optional)

In a bowl/clean jar add the vinegar, water, salt,sugar, red chilli powder (optional). Mix well till sugar and salt dissolve. Add the red onions and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 15-30 mins or overnight. 


  • You can reduce or increase the vinegar content to your tolerance of sourness.More vinegar equals more sour onions.  
  • The recipe above is for instant/quick pickled onions. If you don't plan to use the onions the very same day, I suggest using less vinegar to avoid the onions becoming too sour which can be unpleasant. 
  • Other spices like red chilli powder, whole black pepper, garlic etc can be added as additional flavoring. 
  •  These onions stay good for couple of days when refrigerated. 

That's it, our sweet and sour Pickled Onions - SirkeWale Pyaaz are ready. Serve them with your favorite Indian meal along with some green chutney for that restaurant type feel. Enjoy!! 

Happy Cooking!!

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