• Even without spices, pineapple has a burning effect. (Benito Martin)Source: Benito Martin

Acharu is a traditional Sri Lankan pickle of vegetables, typically carrot and onion. This is my take on acharu – it’s a very simple version using only pineapple. The sweet fruit stands up perfectly to being pickled with spicy black pepper and chilli. It can be eaten as a snack on its own and is also good served with barbecued meats, particularly pork.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (44 votes)


  • 250 ml (1 cup) apple cider vinegar
  • 380 ml water
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 15 g table (fine) salt
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 420 g pineapple (trimmed weight, about ½ small)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Makes: 1 litre

Place the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and spices into a saucepan, bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 5 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes.

Cut your pineapple into 2 cm rounds. Cut the rounds in half, then triangles, leaving the core in. Place into a snug container. Pour over the pickle liquor.

Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.

The acharu can be used immediately but it does taste better once it’s had a day or two to sit around. It can be stored in the fridge for a good few weeks.


Photography by Benito Martin. Food styling by O Tama Carey. Prop styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.


This recipe is part of The seasonal cook: Pineapple column. View previous The seasonal cook columns and recipes.


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