Weralu Achcharu (Olive Pickles) Recipe

Photo from Adobe Stock/olindana

Sold as a snack by the roadside and by beach vendors all over Sri Lanka, these olives have a great flavour and texture — and once you’ve eaten one, you keep going back for more. They also make a great chaser for a beer or a glass of coconut arrack.

Region: Sri Lanka
Makes: 1 x 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cup) jar}
Preparation: 15 minutes + 2 weeks pickling
Cooking: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy


  • 50 ripe green olives
  • 2 tablespoons rice bran oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chilli flakes
  • 5 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon malt vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black
  • pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Boil the olives in a saucepan of salted water for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the rice bran oil in a large heavy-based saucepan.
  3. Add the garlic and fry over medium heat for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown.
  4. Add the other ingredients, except the olives, and mix well.
  5. Now add the boiled olives and mix until all the ingredients are well distributed.
  6. Transfer to a large sterilised glass jar, seal and store in a cool dark place for 2 weeks before eating.
  7. Once opened, the olives will keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Also from Lands of the Curry Leaf:

Reprinted with permission from Lands of the Curry Leaf: A Vegetarian Food Journey from Sri Lanka to Nepal by Peter Kuruvita and published by Murdoch Books, 2019.

Published on Oct 3, 2019


Inspiration for edible alchemy.