Pickles are made from certain individual varieties of vegetables and fruits that are chopped into small pieces and cooked in edible oils like sesame oil with many different Indian spices like asafoetida, red chili powder, turmeric, fenugreek, and plenty of salt. Some regions also specialize in pickling meats and fish. Vegetables can also be combined in pickles to make mixed vegetable pickle. Some varieties of fruits and vegetables are small enough to be used whole.

The most common South Asian-style pickles are made from mango, lime and goose berries.