This Indian lemon pickle has a firm bite and powerful flavor that is the hallmark of this type of condiment. Similar to other delicious Indian-style pickles, they are delicious with rice, naan, or roti. See the section below for other serving options.
How to Serve Indian Lemon Pickle
- Lemon pickles are the perfect accompaniment to an Indian meal. They add a burst of flavor to a simple bowl of dahl or potato-stuffed dosas.
- Serve Indian lemon pickles with a Buddha bowl for a bit of extra zip.
- Pickles can be the star of the show when served with rice and yogurt. or a piece of roti or naan.
- Finely diced pickles can add a bit of spice to a simple cream of vegetable soup.
I’m always looking for more ways to enjoy this delicious condiment. If you have a serving suggestion, please share in the comments below!
Some notes about the recipe
This is a two-step recipe that starts with pickling lemons in salt for one week. Then the salted lemons are mixed with toasted spices giving them a distinctly rich, spiced flavor.
If you’ve never toasted your spices before, it takes a bit of intuition to get it right. Brad took an Indian cooking course while living in New Zealand, and he passed along some of the skills to me.
The trick is to heat the spices until they just start to become fragrant, then take them off the heat so they don’t burn. A cast-iron frying pan is perfect because you can add the spices right to the hot pan, and they only roast for 1-2 minutes.
Indian Lemon Pickle
Indian lemon pickle is a powerful and delicious condiment. It is perfect with rice, naan, or roti. See the section above for more serving suggestions.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 1 pint jar 1x
- Category: Pickles
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: Indian
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 batch of salt-preserved lemons
- 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds, ground
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek powder
- 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 Tbsp sunflower seed oil
- The salt-preserved lemons take around one week to ferment. They are really simple and don’t require any fermentation experience or expertise. A link to the recipe is in the ingredient list.
- When the lemons have finished fermenting, place them in a medium-sized bowl.
- Dry roast the spices. If this is your first-time dry roasting ground spices, see the section above for more details.
- Mix the spices into the lemons, then pack the lemons back into the jar.
- Top the lemons with the oil to act as an oxygen barrier for storage.
- Store in the fridge and consume within 6 months.
- Mustard powder doesn’t have the same flavor as mustard seed, however, you can replace the seed with mustard powder if required. You can also grind your own fenugreek seeds, it’s just fairly difficult as fenugreek is really hard.
- This recipe is perfect for a 500mL mason jar. Feel free to use an air-tight seal to maintain the flavor during storage.
Keywords: spicy, probiotic, vegan, gluten free, keto, paleo, whole 30, spring, summer, fall
I’ve made lime pickle however didn’t fill the jars to the top like your pic- instead about an inch below the lid. Also when inverting the jars they leak a very small drip- I think because there’s no ring seal. Will they still be okay to eat? They’ve been doing their thing for a week.
If they look and smell good, then they should be fine.
Why non-iodized salt in particular?
If I were canning these for a longer period, could I just skip putting the oil in and water-bath can them? I’d be looking to make extra and then store it.
Iodized salt will prevent fermentation. I have kept them in the fridge for 2-3 months without spoiling. But if you wanted to can them for gifts or long-term storage, then I would still add the oil. It helps with the flavour.
Very yummy. Simple to make, and turning the jar every day was something I even looked forward too!
Pickles are always the best way to spice up your dinner menu. This recipe is interesting and simple. I am going to try this pickle recipe at home and eat with rice and curd. Thanks for sharing this impeccable recipe. Keep sharing such culinary posts. Also share more pictures of each stage of preparation.
I want to water bath can these to preserve longer. Is that possible?
I haven’t tried that… however, my lemon pickles have never gone off in the fridge. Admittedly, we usually eat them within a few months! I’m not sure about how long to water bath can lemons with salt and spices (rather than sugar or vinegar). Maybe freeze them instead?