Chumanulli also known as pearl onion or shallots is usually used for preparing gravies and chutneys in kerala. I wanted to try a innovative pickle recepie so i chose to make a traditional kerala style pickle using pearl onion and raw black pepper.

We use strands of raw black pepper which is grown in our kitchen garden to make fish gravies, here i have added it i to give perfect spice to my pickle.

You can store this pickle in refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks .


Preparation time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 20 mins


  • Chumanulli / pearl onion: 1/4 kg
  • Pachakurumulagu / raw blackpepper : 3 to 4 strands
  • Kanthari mulagu / birds eye chilli: 3 to 4 slit
  • Garlic cloves : 3 to 4 sliced
  • Red chilli powder: 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Tamarind pulp: 1/4 cup
  • Jaggery: 1 tbsp grated
  • Vinegar: 1 tbsp
  • Oil: 1/2 cup (gingelly/ vegetable oil)

For pickle powder:

  • Cumin seeds: 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds: 1 tbsp
  • Fenugreek seeds: 1 tsp

For seasoning:

  • Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
  • Dry red chilli: 2
  • Curry leaves: few
  • Urad dal : 1 tsp
  • Hing powder: 1/2 tsp



  • Dry roast cumin seeds, mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds.
  • Grind it into fine powder and keep aside.


  • Heat oil in a kadai, add chumanulli/ pearl onions and fry for 2 to 3 mins till it changes colour.
  • Switch off the flame and remove onions from oil.
  • Keep few onions aside and grind the remaining onions into fine paste.


  • Switch on the flame and to the same oil add mustard seeds, dry red chilli, curry leaves, garlic , kanthari mulgau , urad dal and hing powder.
  • Fry for a minute.


  • Now add the ground onion paste , crushed green pepper (pachakurumulagu )and the whole onions kept asidse into kadhai. Cook for 5 mins. Keep stirring.


  • Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt and mix well.


  • Now add pickle powder,tamarind pulp, jaggery and vinegar and mix.


  • Cook on low flame for another 5 to 6 minutes.


  • Let it cool and store in an air tight container.


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