Chaltar Achar| Elephant Apple Pickle

Fruits can be eaten raw or cooked. The bulk of the fruit actually consists of thick sepals, which have a sour taste, are used in dal and fish preparations, and are often mixed with coconut and spices to make chutneys in N-E. The unripe fruits are also pickled.

Dillenia indica, commonly known as elephant apple, is a species of Dillenia native to China and tropical Asia.

Chaltar Achar / Elephant Apple Chutney will remind us of or take us back to our childhood (in front of every school roadside pickle vendor used to have this pickle). It is well known for its vibrant orange or red color and sweetness, which attract kids. You can make it without color; the taste will be the same. But I used food color to get the color. I haven’t said the amount of sugar here because it depends on the sourness of the elephant apple and your taste buds. Enjoy.


  • 2 large elephant apples (chaltas)
  • 4/6 tsp. panch phoron
  • 4 cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • 6/7 Red Chilies
  • 4/6 tsp. smashed mustard seed
  • 2 tsp. turmeric Powder
  • 2 cups of mustard oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 250 gm. jaggery
  • Sugar to taste


  1. Cut and peel an elephant apple, and cut it into the desired size. Keep it for 2–3 hours in salt water, then wash it and boil it with turmeric and 1 teaspoon salt.
  2. Drain the water and keep it aside for a few minutes. Take an elephant apple and half-smash it with a hammer.
  3. Add smashed mustard seed, salt and a pinch of turmeric into the smashed chalta
  4. Warm the panch phoron and red chillies without oil for 5 minutes and finely smash them.
  5. Heat the oil, add finely chopped garlic, and keep it until the sweet smell comes out.
  6. When aroma starts coming out, add tenderized pieces and cook.
  7. Add panch phoron and red chillies and cook for 5 minutes.
  1. Add jaggery and cook until the moisture comes out
  2. Add the white vinegar and cook in low heat for 10 minutes
  3. Stir it and taste it; if needed, add salt and sugar as per your taste
  4. Remove it from the heat and let it cool down before you store it. You can store Chaltar Achar / Elephant Apple Chutney for about a week at room temperature and for about a month in the refrigerator.

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