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Lemon Pickle Recipe – Easy Indian Lemon Achaar

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This Indian Lemon Pickle tastes amazing!

The lemons mixed with the spices.The finished lemon pickle. Delicious!

So often it is the little things – the easy things that make a good meal great. This holds true whether you are eating Indian food or any other type of cuisine.

I used to live in Monterey California where my friends and I frequented an outstanding Middle Eastern restaurant as often as we could afford it.

They used to bring out a lemon pickle that was served with lamb and flat breads along with a yogurt and cucumber sauce. It was amazing and not far off what I am going to show you here.

Step 1

Heating the seeds.Heat the mustard seeds then add the salt, pepper and turmeric and remaining seeds.

Step 2

Adding the lemons to the pan.Coat the lemons in the seeds and spices.

Step 3

Adding the ginger and chillies.
Throw in the chillies and ginger and combine everything well.

Step 4

Lemon and spice mixture in a jar.Once cooled place everything in a covered jar and leave for a few weeks, stirring every few days.


You could make this a lime pickle too.

One of the most popular pickles available in markets and Indian restaurants in the UK is the lime Indian Pickle. Limes could be substituted here but I hope you try this lemon version. The bright yellow colour really brightens up a dish.

This recipe only takes minutes to make. Everyone loves a good homemade lemon pickle. It’s so much better than anything you can purchase in a jar.

It packs a punch for you spice lovers out there. In fact when I make this Indian lemon pickle at home I use two more hot chilli peppers. Call me crazy!

You should experiment and add or take out spices as you see fit.

Are you ready to try this? It only takes minutes.

Believe me – once you try this lemon pickle, you will never go back to store bought. Not that store bought Indian pickle is bad! This one is simply so much better.

If you like the look of this easy lemon pickle, you might like to try these…

Indian Mixed Vegetable Pickle
Indian Lime Pickle
Chickpea, Garlic and Carrot Pickle

Yield: 1 jar

Easy Indian Lemon Pickle

Jar of lemon pickle
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 2 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp onion seeds
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 turmeric powder
  • 4 large lemons cut into 2mm thick slices and then in half
  • 250g ginger cut into 1mm thick slices
  • 4 large red chilli peppers cut into three pieces
  • 2 generous tbsp salt
  • Sugar (Optional) and to taste


  1. Heat the oil over high heat in a frying pan. When it is shimmering hot, add the mustard seeds. When they begin to crackles, turn the heat down to medium.
  2. Add the remaining seeds and let them infuse their flavours into the oil for about 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in the salt, peppercorns and turmeric. Add all of the lemon and ginger slices along with the cut chillies
  4. Toss everything around in the pan for a few minutes coating the lemons and ginger with all the spices.
  5. Pour all of the contents of the pan into a bowl and leave to cool to room temperature. Taste a little of the juices. If it is too bitter, add just a little bit of sugar to taste. This is not a sweet pickle!
  6. Once cooled, place everything into a large jar with a tight fitting lid and leave unopened for at least two weeks.
  7. That's it! Done. Store in a cool dark location such as a larder cupboard or in your fridge.

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Enjoy this lemon pickle with your favourite Indian bread. It is good with tandoori meats and also simply stirred into white rice. 



Tuesday 9th of February 2021

How many days can we use this ?

Dan Toombs

Thursday 11th of February 2021

This should keep in the fridge for at least 3 weeks. Thanks Dan


Wednesday 10th of July 2013

I've been looking for a quick and easy recipe for this pickle for ages. This is so far fitting the criteria ! I've made the picke it looks amazing, just like the real thing. I can't wait to try it now ,....the wait for two weeks is going to be long.

Dan Toombs

Saturday 2nd of November 2013

Thanks. Hope you enjoy the recipe. :-)


Tuesday 28th of May 2013

Hi Dan

I've just made this pickle and it smells wonderful already. A slight query - can you please confirm how much turmeric there should be - I added 1/2 teaspoon, is that right?

Cheers Pauline

Dan Toombs

Thursday 30th of May 2013

Hi Pauline

That should be enough. You really don't need a lot of turmeric for great results. Thanks for trying the recipe. :-)

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