Quince Aachar | Quince Pickle

A hot, sour, oily, bitter Indian pickle, Punjabi in style.

Aachar is a spicy Indian pickle. It varies from place to place, from home to home. If you check  your local Indian grocery you can see a multitude made from almost everything that you can imagine. You will have heard, no doubt, of mango pickle or lime pickle — these are very popular. But take any ingredient of the plant variety and I guarantee that there is a pickle made from it.

Quince (our hard sometimes gritty, always sourish fruit) is not well known in India, as far as I can judge. The Indian Quince is quite a different fruit altogether. But, using other recipes as a guide, I made this quince pickle that has become a family staple that we make each year.

Recently given a wealth of quinces, jam was made, quince paste too, some of these beauties, and two batches of this Quince Pickle. It is hot, sour, oily, bitter — that lovely combination of Ayurvedic tastes — and is styled after the Punjabi pickles.

We have other Quince recipes too. Try Quince Pickle, Quince Jam/Jelly, Quince Paste, Afghani Quinces with Split Peas, and Slow Cooked Sweet Spiced Quinces. For more ideas, read What to Do with Quinces.

You might also like to try Green Mango Pickle, Fresh Green Apple Pickles, Gujarati Carrot Pickle, Pickled Cumquats, and Pickled Cumquats.

Or browse all of our Quince recipes, and Pickle recipes, and you might like to read about Autumn Preserving. Our Indian Pickles are here and all of our Indian recipes are here. Explore our Indian Essentials and our Mid Autumn collection of dishes.


This recipe uses panch phoron, a mixture of 5 different spices. I prefer to make my own spice mixture rather than purchase it – you can adjust the proportions of spices in your own mixture.

The pickles take up to 3 weeks from beginning to eating time, but it is simple to make and a joy to eat. You are adding strong flavours — fenugreek, chilli etc — to semi dried quince pieces. The strong flavours mellow as the pickle matures, and the quince pieces plump up somewhat as they sit in the oil.

Important Posts

Quince Aachar

Cuisine: Indian in style
Prep time: 30 mins
Sitting Time: 2 – 3 weeks
Serves: a lot of people, depending how you use it

6 quinces
1 heaped teaspoon turmeric powder
1.5 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp chilli powder

when placing into jars
1 Tbsp fenugreek seeds
1 Tbsp ajwain
1 Tbsp Fennel Seeds
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 Tblspn brown mustard seeds
pinch asafoetida powder
1/2 – 1 Tbsp chilli powder
1.5 Tbs salt
1.5 cups mustard oil

Day 1
Roast the chilli powder briefly on a dry pan.

There is no need to peel or core the quince, although you can core it if you prefer. Wash them well, removing any fur on the outside skin, and chop into bit sized pieces.

Sprinkle the quince with the chilli powder, turmeric powder and the 1.5 Tblspn salt. Toss the quinces in the spices and let sit overnight in a large bowl.

Quince Pickle

Day 2
In the morning drain the quinces of any liquid that has emerged in the bottom of your bowl. Now you need to let the quinces dry out a little. Traditionally this is done in the sunshine and takes a couple of days. Bring the quince pieces in overnight.

If, like me, there is not sufficient sunshine you can do a number of things. Spread them thinly on a large dish or tray. Allow them to dry in a warm spot for a few day, tossing them every 6 or 8 hours so they get evenly dried.

Alternatively, you can place them in a very low oven and dry them for 4 – 6 hours. For one batch, I turned the oven on, kept the oven door open and placed the tray of quinces on the door of the oven to dry.

I have also used a dehydrator to dry them — this works  very well. Choose your level of “doneness” – you just want to dry them a little, not too much, as they will not soften very much in the oil of the pickle.

 Quince Pickle

When they are dried and ready to place into jars
Roast the fenugreek, nigella, fennel, mustard and cumin seeds on a dry pan, and grind them to a powder. Mix the powder with the quince chunks.

Dry roast the remaining chilli powder with the asafoetida and add to the quince pieces. (If you wish, you can taste a piece before you add more chilli powder – if it is hot enough, there is no need to add more.)

Add the remaining salt. Toss everything well.

Heat the mustard oil in a pan on the stove and then allow to cool until warm. Place the quince pieces and spices into jars and pour over the mustard oil. Screw on the lids and allow the jars to sit for 2 weeks before eating. Preferably they would sit in the sunshine, perhaps in a window. But failing that, place them in a warm place for that two weeks.

Quince Pickles

Eat a little as a side with Indian foods or with some dish that needs a spark.

Quince Pickle

recipe notes
The remaining oil in the jar, when the pickles are finished, makes a wonderful oil to use for vegetables and salads. I love to mix it with the tart juice from Pickled Cumquats, and the resulting dressing is simply amazing.

Other Quince Recipes You Will Love

Spiced Quinces

Quinces simmered long and slow in the oven, with spices to flavour the ruby red flesh. The resulting syrup is wonderful, and can be used to make jam/jelly.


Quince Jam

A beautiful jelly style jam with an awesome colour that adapts to a range of flavouring options.

Quince Jam

Quince Paste

A delicious paste that keeps really well. I think this paste tastes like roses, which sparked a tradition in this household of adding a little rosewater to some quince dishes.

Quince Paste

Quince Leather

Divine sweetness.

Quince Leather

Quince Syrup, Molasses, Vinegar, and Honey

An endless array of goodies to make with your quinces.

Quince Molasses and Pomegranate Molasses

Quince with Split Peas

Quinces can also be used to make delicious savoury dishes, common in the Middle East.

Afghani Quince and Split Pea Stew

Turnips with Quince Molasses

This dish is divine.

Turnips with Quince Molasses

Pickled Quince

Crunchy, delicious pickles.

Pickled Quince

Leeks with Quinces

(Coming soon, please check back) Leeks are braised with quinces for a delicious, if not visually beautiful, dish. The result is greater than the photo indicates.

Greek Braised Leeks with Quinces

Sweet Quince Mustard Relish

(Coming soon, please check back)

Sweet Quince Mustard Relish





9 thoughts on “Quince Aachar | Quince Pickle”

  1. Continue to enjoy your cooking and recipes…the quince achar looks fascinating…will try it. thanks!

  2. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Just got an enormous crop off our quince tree this year and wondering if I could do something like lime pickle with it. One batch is now on its way!

    1. Thank you for letting me know, it is always wonderful to get news from people using our recipes. Don’t forget to make jam. paste and leather. In the past couple of years we have also been juicing quinces to make quince molasses and other goodies. I will update the pickle post in a moment to include links to those recipes. Your idea of making a lime pickle style Indian pickle is a fabulous one.

  3. I’m part way through making your Quince Aachar – fingers crossed. How well does it keep ? Does it need to be stored in the fridge ? Thank you for sharing all these recipes !

  4. thanks for sharing the quince aachar recipe – about to embark on that as we have loads of quinces this year!

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