When life gives you lemons, or limes for that matter... make this pickle! You can interchange limes or small lemons. By far one of the most popular of pickles in Indian restaurants and households around the world. The recipe described below is one for which Mrs Balbir Singh was awarded First Prize in the All-India Citrus Fruit Exhibition, in 1957.
Lime Pickle (Nimbu Ka Achar)
Category: Pickles & Chutneys
230g (8 oz )fresh limes
salt 60g (2 oz)
240ml (½ pt )edible mustard oil
- A grain of asafoetida (hing), roughly the size of a peppercorn
of red chilli powder 1 heaped tsp
115g (4 oz )sliced ginger
7g (¼ oz )brown mustard seeds
15g (½ oz )whole red chillies
sliced green chillies 15g (½ oz)
7g (¼ oz )ground fenugreek seeds
- Juice of
salt 40g (1½ oz)
Step 1: prepare the limes
Wash and dry the limes with a clean dry cloth. Make 4 cuts in each lime, rub the salt all over and insert into the cuts. Keep in a jar for about 2 to 3 weeks and shake every alternate day.
Step 2: make the pickle
Heat the oil until a slight haze appears. Remove from heat, add asafoetida (hing) and crush with the back of a spoon when it swells up.
Add chilli powder and heat until the it releases some red colour but taking care not to burn it. Take the pan off the heat, add brown mustard seeds and stir until it is cooked.
Add ginger, green chillies and the limes cut into 4 pieces each. Simmer until the ginger and the limes are a little tender.
In the meantime roast the fenugreek seeds on a hot dry frying pan (tawa) and then grind. Add both these and the juice of 6 limes to the cooked pickle, stir and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove from heat, cool and pour into a sterilised screw-capped glass Mason jar. Cover and tie a piece of muslin around the neck of the bottle.
Mrs Balbir Singh
Award-winning godmother of Indian home cooking, and author of Mrs Balbir Singh's Indian Cookery, as featured in "The Best Indian Cookbooks Ever, as Judged by the Experts" - The Telegraph (UK)