Lemon Pickle

North India is famous for its spicy pickles. Common are pickles made from green mango, cauliflower, turnip, and lemon. This lemon pickle recipe is provided by my mother, Mrs. N. Kochhar, of New Delhi, India. If stored in a cool, dry place, it should keep well for many months, even years. Once bottled, avoid touching it with fingers, and use only a clean fork or spoon to remove it from the bottle. You may need to visit an Indian or Asian foods store for a couple of the spices used.

The lemons should be the small, thin-skinned variety (sometimes called Meyer Lemons). If you can't find them, try limes instead. The peppers should be red, thin-skinned and hot. Good varieties to use include cayenne and super chili.


  • 1.5 (one and a half) pound fresh lemons
  • 1/2 (half) pound fresh ginger
  • 1/2 (half) pound hot red peppers (not dried)
  • 1/3 (one third) pound salt
  • 3/4 (three fourth) cup sugar
  • 4 (four) teaspoons Ajwain (lovage or carom) seeds, ground
  • 1/4 (one fourth) teaspoon Hing (Asafetida)

Wash all the vegetables thoroughly, and peel the ginger. Dry in a sunny window until no water is left (note: just long enough to dry the moisture from washing, usually 2 to 3 hours)

Cut ginger into long (about one inch), thin pieces. Cut lemons into about 8 or 10 equal pieces each. Do not peel the lemons - the lemon peels are an essential part of the pickle. Remove stems from the peppers and cut into 1/2" to 1" pieces.

Mix all ingredients in a pan. Transfer to one large or two smaller bottles and close lids tightly.

Place bottle(s) in a sunny window for 2 to 4 days. Store in a cool dry place.

Lemon pickle should be eaten in small quantities. It has a hot and sour taste.

If you have any questions or comments about this recipe, please send them by e-mail to kochhar@physiology.wisc.edu

Return to Ravi's Recipes
Back to The Basement

This page last modified on : Jan. 28, 2010