aloo ko achar (nepali pickled potatoes) recipe
Recipe type: vegetable
Cuisine: nepali
Cooking and prep don't take long -- maybe 30 minutes -- but you must let the flavors meld for 30 to 60 minutes before serving.
  • 700g potatoes (aloo)
  • ⅓ cup white sesame seeds (til)
  • 3 to 5 green chiles (hari mirch) -- I use Thai bird chiles and use less.
  • 1 tablespoon salt (namak) -- NOTE: I add about half the salt, mix well, taste, then add more if needed later.
  • 1½ tablespoons red chili powder (laal mirch powder)
  • ½ teaspoon Sichuan pepper (timur) -- grind it
  • ½ cup mustard oil / (sarson ka tel) or neutral oil of your choice
  • 1 pinch fenugreek seeds (methidana) -- I use ground fenugreek
  • 1 pinch cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated (adrak)
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida (also known as hing powder) -- This gives a garlicky flavor to the dish.
  • ¾ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi powder)
  • ⅔ cup water (paani)
  • 4 tablespoons lemon or lime juice, freshly squeezed (nimbu ka ras)
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped (hara dhaniya)
  1. Boil potatoes in salted water, peel, and cut to medium sized cubes.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, dry roast sesame seeds until golden. Cool to room temperature and grind to powder.
  3. Next, the original recipe says to chop green chiles in big pieces. I prefer smaller pieces.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the cubed potatoes, sesame seed powder, green chiles, salt, chili powder, and Sichuan pepper.
  5. Heat oil in a skillet, add the fenugreek and cumin to brown briefly, then off the heat and add ginger, asafoetida, and turmeric. Stir for 1 minute.
  6. Pour this hot, scented oil over the potato mix. Stir well.
  7. Add water, lemon/lime juice, and chopped cilantro and mix well.
  8. Cover the pan and allow flavors to meld for 30 to 60 minutes. Taste just before serving and add more salt if needed (if you use less like me initially). I like this dish served at room temperature.
  9. If refrigerated, aloo ko achar keeps for about a month, if stirred every so often.
Some recipes also call for cucumber, peas, or other dense, non-leafy greens for this recipe. I prefer it potato heavy.
Recipe by story of a kitchen at