Lime pickle - Lemon pickle

Spicy Hot Indian Pickle Recipe

Lime pickle or lemon pickle recipe with step by step video and written instructions. Lime/lemon pickle is a favorite of many. Pickle is the best accompaniment for many dishes, especially curd rice. Here is a easy traditional lemon pickle recipe that keeps the pickle good for more than a year to use.

As lime or lemons are available throughout the year, you can make lemon pickle anytime you want. But then, it makes sense to make it when they are available in plenty and are cheaper.

This pickle remains good for more than a year. It just gets more and more mature. See the tips below.

Lemon pickle takes about a month to get soft and ready to eat. You may start to use it after 15 days if you do not mind a slightly bitter taste and the not so soft lemon rind. It has a wonderful taste of it's own. So no harm in starting to use it after 2 weeks if you like the taste.

Lime- Lemon pickleLime- Lemon pickle

For this pickle, use spotless, juicy lemons. Wash them thoroughly and dry them well. Any remaining moisture may spoil the pickle.

Find tips below to reduce bitterness in lime/ lemon pickle.

How to make Lime Pickle - Lemon Pickle

Ingredients for lemon pickle:

  • Limes (nimbu) - 10 No.
  • Red chili powder (lal mirch powder - 1 table spoon
  • Salt - 3 table spoons
  • Fenugreek seeds(methi) - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder(haldi) - 1 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida(hing) - 1/2 teaspoon


  1. Roast lightly fenugreek/methi seeds.
  2. Grind/pound to fine powder
  3. Cut Limes in 4 or 8 pieces, as you wish. I usually cut them in 8 pieces.

Seasoning ingredients:

  • Oil - 2 tablespoons
  • Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder(haldi powder) - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida (hing)- 1/4 teaspoon

Make Seasoning:

  1. Heat Oil
  2. Add Mustard seeds, let them crackle.
  3. Add turmeric powder, asafoetida, fry  for a few seconds.
  4. Take off the fire and keep aside to cool completely before adding to pickle

Making Lime pickle:

  1. Mix together lime pieces, salt, red chili powder, powdered fenugreek, turmeric and asafetida.
  2. Add the cooled seasoning and mix well.
  3. Fill in dry airtight bottle. Close the lid.
  4. Shake the bottle/mixture everyday with a dry spoon once per day for about 15 days.

Lemon Pickle is ready to eat after 15 days.

But some people like to start eating it after 4-5 days. There is still some bitterness in the lemon rind but still it is yummy.

Lime pieces start to soften as the pickle matures. After a month, they become quite soft.

Serve with any dish such as snacks, rice, roti, poori etc. It is best with curd rice


  • Shaking or mixing regularly till the pickle matures (about 15-20 days) is very important.
  • If you forget mixing for a day it is ok but not mixing for longer duration the pickle will get spoilt. A layer of fungus will form on the top of the pickle. Even when you remove the fungus layer, the taste of the pickle will change. So do remember to stir / shake the pickle once every day.
  • Keeping the pickle bottle in the sun is not a must but that helps in pickle maturing faster. Keeping in the shade, pickle may take a bit longer to mature.
  • In the sun pickle releases juices faster.

How to remove / reduce bitterness in lime pickle

Lime rind/skin, seeds and the white pith contain bitterness.

  • Choose thin skinned lime/lemons.
  • Choose juicy lime/lemons.
  • When you cut limes, remove as many seeds as you can before mixing with spices and salt. Seeds are very bitter.
  • Fenugreek/methi seeds are bitter and these are added to balance the sourness of the lime juice. Add methi seeds in the right quantity.

If your lime pickle has become bitter,

You may try the following tips to reduce bitterness:

  • Add some sugar to the pickle
  • Add only the juice of some limes to add sourness.
  • Add some salt and red chili powder.

Add the above ingredients (sugar, lime juice, salt, chili powder) according to your liking in taste. First try  doing this with 1/2 cup of ready lime pickle.

How to store pickle for longer use

If you take proper care while preparing, pickle remains good at room temperature for more than 6 months or even longer. My mother used to make mango pickle in the season and we used it for almost a year, till the next season started.

  • Store pickle in a big glass jar/ bottle with a tight lid. Make sure no dust, insects, flies etc. can get inside.
  • Take out some in a smaller bottle for your regular use with a dry spoon.
  • You need to take care while taking it out from the jar. Use only dry spoon while taking out the pickle.
  • Adding more oil, salt helps in preserving pickle.

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