Lemon-Chilli Pickle

I got too many ripe lemons from my garden. To use them I thought of a pickle recipe. The inspiration for this recipe comes from two people. My grand pa - actually gave the base recipe. My roommate - likes this a lot. The shelf life of this pickle is about 2-3 weeks when kept in a warm place.

I've sent this recipe to House of Annie's Grow Your Own blogging event !!! It is an event featuring recipes made using home grown ingredients  :) And here it is : Grow Your Own roundup #38 - Thanks a lot, Nathan.

Lemon - 10 (small size)
Ginger - 5 one inch pieces (Skin peeled)
Green chillies - 10
Salt - 10 tsp

For thadka:
Red chilli flakes - 2 tbsp
Red chilli powder - 2 tsp
Mustard oil - 7-10 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tbsp
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek powder - 1 tsp


Wash the lemons, ginger pieces and chillies. Allow them to dry completely. These and 1 1/2 tsp of salt should be arranged in layers in a sterilized dry glass jar. I used a tall and narrow jar. But, a wide one helps the mixture to soak well.  So, spread a 1 1/2 tsp of salt in the bottom of the jar. Slice 2 lemons in rings, cut a ginger piece into tiny pieces and chop 2 chillies into small pieces. Mix these and place over the salt. Sprinkle 1 1/2 tsp of salt over this mixture. Fill the rest of layers in a similar way. Use a dry spoon to add the last tsp of salt and gently stir the whole mixture. By this time the lemon juices would have got squeezed out and the salt too would have dissolved. Make sure you have enough salt in thi mixture, else fungus may start growing. Close the jar with the lid. Keep it in a warm place. Stir it thrice a day for a period of three days to mix the ingredients well. Then stir it once for a period of three days.

After about a week, the lemon skin would get softened and the chillis would lose color. Now heat a pan and add 3 tbsp of oil. Saute the mustard and urad dhal. Add the chilli flakes keeping the flame low - else flakes may get burnt. Add the chilli and fenugreek powder. After a min, remove the pan from the fire. Add the pickle mixture to the pan. Mix well. Allow to cool. Now arrange this mixture in the same jar by dividing the pickle into 5-6 parts and layering each part with tbsp of oil. Top the jar with the rest of the oil. Stir well. Close the lid and allow to rest this for another two days while stirring the mixture twice a day.

After two days, the pickle is ready to be served. Always use a dry spoon and dont leave the spoon in the jar. NEVER use water in any stage of the preparation. Else, the pickle will get spoilt in a few days. Make sure every part of the pickle is soaking the oil all the time !


  1. Neat! I did know you could use dhal in this way. I can see it's got a lot of flavor and would like to try it some day.

    Since you're using homegrown ingredients, would you like to enter this post in our Grow Your Own roundup this month? Full details at


  2. Thanks a lot for the comments. Sure, I'll send my entry to your GYO event :)


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