Citrus fruits are in season during the winter months so make the most of luscious limes by making this hot and spicy delicious easy homemade lime pickle that really packs a punch of flavour and will make any curry sing.
Homemade lime pickle
No curry is complete without a couple of super tasty pickles and chutneys on the side and this homemade Indian lime pickle will tickle your taste buds and have you diving into the jar for more.
Other goodies to have with a curry include my homemade raita, that lusciously cooling yogurt dip/sauce.
In fact, you might even want to make your own curry from scratch too so take a look at my homemade curry spice blend recipe.
Homemade pickles date back centuries in India although the word ‘pickle’ itself comes from the Dutch word pekel meaning brine.
Achar is another word used for these pickles in India but strangly it comes from Persia where it is defined as ‘powdered or salted meats, pickles or fruits preserved in salt, sugar, honey or syrup’.
Ingredients for homemade lime pickle
- brown sugar
- rapeseed oil/vegetable oil
- The seed mix – cumin seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek.
- The spice mix – garam masala, chilli powder, nigella seeds
The complete list of ingredients and full instructions for making this recipe can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to make homemade lime pickle
This Indian lime pickle recipe is all about time. Not a greatb deal of effort on your part but a bit of time is involved.
First chop up limes and put in bowl with salt and leave overnight covered with a tea towel.
Dry roast the seed mix in a dry frying pan for a minute till just fragrant and aromatic. Tip them out of the pan immediately to stop them cooking or they will burn.
Grind the spice seeds in a pestle and mortar/coffee grinder.
Mix the ground spice seeds and the powdered spices in a frying pan with the oil to form a paste and stir in the sugar. Let this cool thoroughly.
Add this paste to the limes that have been basking in salt overnight. Mix through with the released juices and salty brine.
Pack this into sterilised jars and set on windowsil in sunlight for a week. Then tip all contents into food processor and pulse just to break down the lime peel into small pieces.
Spoon into sterilised jars and leave for another week to mature before using. This will improve over a few weeks.
How long will lime pickles keep?
This lime pickle will keep for up to a year in a cool dark place. Once opened store it in the fridge and just keep covering the top of the pickle with a little oil to seal it from air (even though it will be in a lidded jar of course) and it will keep for almost a year.
Please Note – We do not usually do water bath or other canning methods here in the UK. Our preserves keep perfectly well without this.
How to use lime pickle
Don’t just confine this fiery Indian pickle to the side of a plate of curry, oh no, it is worth way more action than that.
Traditionally a little lime pickle is stirred into plain rice to liven it up.
Add some lime pickle to homemade mayonnaise (here is my recipe for fool proof homemade mayonnaise) for an extra hot and tangy flavour that goes great with chicken.
You can add a little homemade lime pickle to plain Greek yoghurt to make the most amazingly tasty yet simple dip.
Or stir it into soups and stews for an extra kick of flavour.
This is a hot lime pickle recipe so remember a little goes a long way!
Looking for more super easy chutney and relish recipes to try? Then check these out before you go;
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Homemade Lime Pickle
- 500 g limes (8 limes)
- 100 g salt
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp fenugreek
- 1 tbsp garam masala powder
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp nigella seeds
- 100 ml vegetable oil
- 100 g brown sugar
- chop limes into eigths and place in a bowl with the salt and leave covered with a tea towel overnight for the salt to draw out the juices
- Heat the cumin, coriander, fenugreek, fennel and mustard seeds in a dry pan for about 1 minute till aromatic then tip out of pan immediately to stop cooking. Crush them in either a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder
- Heat the oil in pan and add the ground seeds and all other spices and stir to form a paste and add the sugar too. Leave this to cool completely.
- Add to the limes and mix thoroughly along with the brine/juices from the limes.
- pack into sterilised jars cover with lids and leave on windowsil for a week
- Tip the contents of jars into food processor and pulse to break up the pickle still further then pack into sterilised jars and leave for another week.