This is a favourite pickle at the Sri Lankan table. It’s basically a mixed vegetable mustard pickle with ginger, garlic and chilli to give it a kick. You can have it as a condiment/side dish with a meat or pork curry or have it with meat roasts hot or cold.

Sri Lankan Mixed Pickle

A Sri Lankan take on vegetable mustard pickles
Course Condiment
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Keyword pickle, vegetable
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 2 750 ml jars


  • 100 g carrots
  • 100 g beans (French or snake beans are best
  • 100 g cauliflower
  • 100 g choko or green papaya
  • 100 g capsicum
  • 150 g shallot or brown onions
  • 8 - 10 green chillies less if you chilli shy but you do want the pickle to have a kick
  • 50 g mustard
  • 2 - 4 cloves garlic 2 if they are large cloves, 4 if they are small cloves
  • 20 g ginger
  • 500 ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chilli powder or flakes optional - again it depends on how much of a kick you want


  • First prepare the vegetables.
  • Peel and cut the carrot into thin matchsticks (see picture).
  • Peel and cut the choko or green papaya the same size as the carrots.
  • Break the cauliflower into little florets - that is, don't use the stems (see picture).
  • Cut the beans into pieces about the same size as the carrot. If you like, cut them at a bit of an angle across the pod.
  • Slice the capsicum into pieces the same size as the carrot.
  • Slice the shallots or onions thin (see pic).
  • Slit the green chillies open on one side and remove the seeds.
  • Grind together the mustard seed, ginger and garlic with a little vinegar till it is a rough paste - you want some of the mustard seeds to stay whole (see pic).
  • Pour 250 ml of the vinegar into a saucepan and put it on the stove.
  • Add 1 tbsp of sugar to the vinegar.
  • Add 2 tsp of salt to the vinegar.
  • Bring the vinegar mixture to the boil.
  • Add the sliced carrot to the vinegar. You will notice that the vinegar cools down and stops boiling. Let it boil again and immediately that it boils remove the carrots to your mixing bowl.
  • Do the same thing with the choko/green papaya, cauliflower, beans, capsicum, shallots/onions and green chillies. Add each one separately to the vinegar, bring the vinegar back to the boil, remove the vegetable immediately.
  • If you find you are losing vinegar through evaporation, top it up from time to time to make it up to 250 ml again.
  • Combine all the cooked vegetables, the mustard paste and the vinegar you have used to cook the vegetables in a mixing bowl.
  • Add chilli powder or flakes if you are using them.
  • Mix everything well. You want to thoroughly coat the vegetables in the mustard paste and vinegar.
  • Taste the pickle and decide if you want to add a bit more sugar, or chilli.
  • Push handfuls of the pickle into your jars, pressing each handful down gently with your hand or a spoon. You want to pack the pickle in tight without breaking up the vegetables and making mush.
  • You should have vinegar and mustard paste remaining in the bottom of the mixing bowl. Spoon this liquid evenly into your jars.
  • Use a satay stick or skewer to prod the vegetables gently to allow the pickling juice to fill up any air pockets in the jar.
  • Fill the jars with extra vinegar till all the vegetables are covered with vinegar. You may need to prod the vegetables again with the satay stick/skewer so no air pockets remain.
  • The pickle will keep for ages as long as you keep making sure that the vegetables are just covered with vinegar. Top up the vinegar when it is running low.