Lemon/Lime pickle (With Green chillies)

Aayi’s pickles are loved by everyone. They are the best and somehow I feel when I make the same pickles, they are not as half good as hers. I don’t know what is it that I miss. I am one of those, who cannot eat her meals without pickles. Lime/lemon pickles are my favorites. Aayi makes a huge batch of them just for me.

When she came here about 1 and 1/2 years ago, she made a huge batch of it for me. Last year when I went to India, aayi asked me if I wanted to take some of her lemon pickle with me. Since I wanted to bring mango pickle, which I cannot make here, I opted for that and I left out lemon pickle.

In December, all the lemon pickle was finished. So now, I wanted to make my own batch. Some of you may think I am crazy to make pickles in winter. But I wanted this immediately. So I brought a big batch of thin skinned lemons and made two kinds of pickles. One yellow and one red. The red kind was from aayi’s pickle recipe. Few days ago, I had tried lemon-chilli pickle by Sanjeev Kapoor. It was one of the best ready made pickles that I have tasted so far. It had white sesame seeds in it, which I really loved. So this pickle recipe was born from these two recipes. I followed aayi’s recipe, left out red chilli powder, used more green chillies and used sesame seeds.

As aayi had instructed, I gave it a good shake once in 15days or so and in about 1 and 1/2 months, both pickles were ready. Yayyy!!!. Finally…I am happy with pickles. They are just like the way I like. I didn’t take step by step pictures this time as all the steps are same as the lemon pickle – except for chillies and the sesame seeds. My spice powder did not become a smooth powder, so you can see some mustard and other pieces in the picture, which should be totally fine.

Last weekend was another pickle weekend at my home. I made two ready to eat pickles – cauliflower pickle and chilli pickle. I also made pineapple paank and some spice powders. My weekday meals are so much easier now because of all these. I had to spend about 3-4 hrs on the Sunday morning to get all these ready.

Two pickles on my to-do list this year – Manisha’s lemon and lime pickles. Last year, I missed them in summer, I was just too lazy.

3 cups lemon/lime pieces
1 tbl spn ginger
1/2 cup chopped green chilies
1 tbl spn sesame seeds
2 tbl spns mustard seeds
1/2 tea spn methi seeds
1/2 tea spn asafoetida
1 tea spn turmeric
2 and 1/2 tea spns oil
1/2 cup salt

Cut the lemon/lime into small pieces. Chop the chillies into about 1/2″ pieces.
Heat 1 tea spn oil and fry mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida on a medium heat. Take care not to burn any of these. Mustard turns really bitter when it gets burnt, so be careful. Take off heat and add turmeric powder. When it is cooled to room temperature, grind it to a smooth powder.
Add the above powder, salt to the lemon pieces and mix well.
Heat little oil and fry ginger and green chilies for 2-3 mins. When it is cooled to room temperature, mix this with the lemon pieces. Take care to mix this when it comes to room temperature. If this is mixed when hot, the pickle gets spoiled soon.
Heat about 1/2 tea spn oil and add sesame seeds. When they start popping, take off the heat and cool them to room temperature. Add these to pickle.
Store this in an airtight container. Leave it as it is for about 15days. Then open the container and see if the pickle is fine. Close the lid again and leave it for about 45 days. As the pickle gets ready, the lemon pieces get softer. This time largely depends on the kind of lemon/lime used.

– Use hot chillies, if the chillies are mild, increase the amount of them in the pickle.
– To speed up the pickling time, some people boil the pieces and make the pickle. By boiling them, pickle gets ready within 4-5 days, but it does not usually have very long shelf life. Also, the Vitamin-C content in the lemon/lime gets lost. I personally prefer this slow pickling process where the pieces are not boiled.
– While making the pickle, make sure all the vessels, spoons, grinder/mixer are very dry. Even a small drop of water makes this pickle spoil soon. Even while serving the pickle, make sure the spoon you put in this container is very dry. Better yet, transfer small quantity in a smaller container which can be used to serve.
– As I mentioned earlier, the spices should NOT get burnt while frying. While making my last batch, I accidentally burnt some of the spices and the pickle became very bitter and I had hard time to finish it off.
– Any pickle should taste salty when it is prepared. The salt gets absorbed by the pieces as time passes. If it tastes just perfect when the pickle is prepared, it gets spoiled soon.
– Use limes or lemons that has lots of juice.
– If you think this much salt is too much, add about 1/3 cup initially and then add more if required.

16 thoughts on “Lemon/Lime pickle (With Green chillies)”

  1. Hats off to you. I don’t know how do you have so much time, after work, to cook, knit, paint, blog and even made these gorgeous pickles. I saw your revisited section. I am drooling seeing so many pickles. Right now, i am perfectly fine with store bought. But you and aayi are true inspiration’s, to try pickles soon.

  2. Shilpa,Its my first time here..i so loved ur space..All traditional mom’s dishes..What can equal the taste n flavor??yum..:)
    The pic of this pickle left me drooling..I used to have this everyday with rice,back home..:)

  3. Wow, this is completely new way of making lemon pickle from what I have learnt! Your version looks so good and mouth-watering Shilpa! Nice pickle:)

  4. Now you are my sister-in-crime… making pickles at home eh? They just can’t be beat by the store-bought ones… and I am with you on sharing a love for citrus pickles. Mango pickles are wonderful, but there is something sparkling about the aroma of the peels in these. Nice job… and you KNOW i’ll try making these! 😀

  5. Hey shilpa,
    Thank you for the recipe. I love lime pickle.
    I have a question. I am not able to see any of the pictures.
    Even previous posts where there were pictures if i click now it goes error 404.
    Did you remove the pictures?


    Shilpa: No. I can see the pictures clearly. I guess it has something to do with some setting on your browse.

  6. I, incidentally made kairi pickle powder just this morning…and it tasted a bit bitter…I wish I had read ur recipe earlier, I wud have roasted the spices carefully..!!Now what to do..? Do u think adding some boiled-and-cooled lemon juice will make it taste better? Please give me some suggestions to lessen the bitter taste..! thanx…

    Shilpa: It is better to throw it out and make a fresh batch. If you heat lemon juice, it becomes bitter.

  7. Hi Shilpa, This is about boiling the lemon pieces before making the pickle, to reduce the pickling time. Yes, it would spoil easily if ones does this. But I remember my father used another ingenious method. He used to boil the lemons whole (before being cut) and then drain the water, and wipe each lemon completely dry with a clean white cloth!! This served two purposes, I guess: One, it soften the lemons. Two, it killed all bacteria that may have been on the lemon peel. I remember the pickle used to last more than a year each time my father made it. All my aunts and cousins used to get a bottle of it every time he made this.

  8. i tried this pickle…. amazing it was…. my mother-in-law and my husband loved it… im trying one more time…. and im planning to prepare chilli pickle… lets c hw that turns out…. Thanks for this recipe… 🙂

    Rekha vaz

  9. Great recipe! I just finished making my pickle. Now, I have a question about storing the pickle for 45 days. Can I store it in the room temperature, or should I store it in the refrigerator ? If I store it in room temperature, will it still last for 45 days? I am worried it might go bad after such hard work 🙂 ;)..

    1. Store at room temperature. Tightly cover the lid making sure moisture doesn’t get into it. My last stash prepared two years back is still good

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