Lime Pickle Recipe

Photo by Getty Images/subodhsathe

Makes 6–10 portions

Prep time: 15 mins, plus up to 4 weeks pickling

Cook time: 1 min

Is there anything better than a dollop of hot and sharp lime pickle next to a portion of curry or loaded onto a shard of pappadam? Yep… If it’s pickle you’ve made yourself.


  • 10 limes, stems removed, washed throroughly
  • 6 tablespoonsfreshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons fine salt
  • 2 tablespoonssugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafetida
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder (or more, to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika

For the temper:

  • 6 tablespoons neutral cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • a pinch of cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 6 curry leaves, roughly torn

Photo by Pixabay/Tesa Photography


  1. Slice each lime into 4 wedges (or 6 if large), then cut each segment into 6–8 small pieces, widthways. Place in a bowl with theremaining ingredients (except the temper) and mix well.
  2. To make the temper, heat the oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds and, when they begin to pop, add the fenugreek, nigella, cumin and fennel seeds, and let sizzle for 30–50 seconds. Remove from the heat, add the curry leaves, and sizzle briefly, stirring. Tip the tempered spices into the bowl with the lime. Mix well, then taste for heat levels — if you love really hot pickles, you may want to add some more chili powder, or even crumbled dried chili peppers.
  3. Pour everything into a large sterilized jar with a lid (1-quart capacity, or use 2 or 3 small jars), allowing a 1-inch gap at the top. Leave for 2–4 weeks (the longer the better),turning the jar upside down every couple of days. Once opened, store in the fridge for around 1 month. Use clean spoons when serving or the chutney may go moldy.

Cover courtesy of Octopus Publishing

Excerpted with permission from LEON Happy Curriesby Rebecca Seal & John Vincent (Octopus Publishing, 2019).

Published on Mar 3, 2020


Inspiration for edible alchemy.