Friday, April 30, 2010

Lemon/Lime Pickles With Ginger & Green Chile (Preserved Lemons/Limes)

Simple Lemon Pickles

These simple pickles are delicious with the wonderful flavors of hot green chilies and ginger. Young ginger is especially delightful and turns a lovely pink in the pickle. If you are not a ginger fan, just leave it out. Make it with just a couple of lemons or more, it takes just a few minutes to prepare and keeps well in the fridge.

Once you taste these pickles, you'll want to keep a constant supply ready to serve. Just from my description of these pickles, one of my colleagues (who had never tasted Indian food until last year) was inspired to make them. Now you should see Nancy's snack/lunch - crackers spread with cream cheese with a healthy serving of lemon pickles on top :P!

Lemons with their sweet, soft and thick succulent rinds do not require a long period of curing - Paji can attest to that as he is known to more than just sample the pickles on the day of preparation - he takes his job of testing very seriously :D! Limes - regular and Key limes - make flavorful pickles but their tougher rinds take a little longer to soften. Hot green chilies such as Thai birds' eye, Jalapeno or Serrano, etc may be used.

For those who want quicker results there are two methods you can follow. 1. Freeze the lemons overnight before making pickles. 2. Drop the lemons/limes in boiling water to cover, remove with a slotted spoon after 3 minutes, cool and prepare the pickles.

There are many ways of making this pickle: All are delicious but just a bit different.

I - make the pickles without the optional ingredients.
II - add the raw fenugreek seeds.
III - toast the fenugreek seeds lightly
and grind coarsely instead of adding raw.
IV - add a carrot or two cut into small sticks or slices.
V - add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds toasted in a small quantity of oil with a tiny pinch of asafoetida to any of the variations above.

The amounts given below are for the large lemons/limes; if you are using key limes, use more of them or adjust the other ingredients.


4 Lemons/Limes
1 Tbsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Turmeric
2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds (optional)
2 - 4 Hot Green Chilies or to taste
1" long piece of fresh Ginger


Scrub the lemons well, wash and dry. Cut them into small pieces.

Wash, dry and cut the chilies into slivers or slices; remove the core with the seeds if you prefer mild pickles. Peel and cut the ginger into thin slices and then julienne into matchstick like pieces.

Combine all the ingredients in a clean, dry, non-reactive bowl and mix well.

Store in a clean, dry, sterile glass jar.

Place in strong sun for 3-4 days to a week and shake to mix thoroughly each day.

If placing in the sun is not an option, keep the jar on the counter-top and mix well daily.

When the rinds/fenugreek seeds soften and the juices have thickened somewhat, the pickle is ready to eat.

Store the pickles in the refrigerator.

Serve the pickles with simple meals such as rice/bread and dals, Upma, Yogurt rice, etc. It is delicious finely chopped in sandwiches and in salad dressings. Enjoy!


Neetu's kitchen said...

looks delicious...visted first time, love your blog n folling you.

Geetha said...

Welcome TND! Thank you for commenting. I hope the recipes work out for you. Happy Cooking!