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A jar of spicy pickled onions (Curaçao Pika)

Spicy Pickled Onions Recipe with Habanero Peppers

This Spicy Pickled Onions recipe is a flavorful adaption of traditional Curaçao Pika. It’s full of aromatic spices to add a pungent flavor and a touch of sweetness.
Course Sauces, Relish & Chutneys
Cuisine Caribbean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 10 minutes
Servings 1 16oz. jar


  • 16 oz. Mason jar


  • 1 cup (120 gr) yellow onions
  • 2-3 Habanero/Madame Jeanette/Scotch Bonnet peppers or to taste (see note 1)
  • 5 whole cloves
  • ½ nutmeg
  • 3 cardamom pods crushed
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cup (237 ml) white vinegar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) water optional (see note 2)


  • Sanitize your jar well with hot water to remove any “leftover flavor”.
  • Dice your onions and add them to your jar. Take the Habanero, Madame Jeanette, or Scotch Bonnet and remove the seeds and vein. Cut them into 4 or large chunks. Add them to the jar as well. Add the cloves, nutmeg, star anise, and crushed cardamom into the jar. Stir carefully to mix.
  • Add the white vinegar, water, and close the jar tightly. Shake to mix and turn the jar upside down to make sure there’s no leakage.
  • Store in the fridge for at least 12 hours before using.


  1. Habanero is quite a spicy pepper. For this recipe, I would choose 2 peppers for mild, 2.5 for normal, 3 for spicy, and 3.5 for very spicy. You can always add more pepper after making it so it’s best to start mild and build from there (especially if you’ve never had these types of peppers before).
  2. Water isn’t necessary but it helps balance the acidity. Rule of thumb: use 80-20 vinegar and water ratio.