L for Lemon Pickle – Elumichampazham Urugai – Nimbu Ka Achaar

Making pickles have always been in my mind. One day, I want to be experienced enough to make jars and jars of homemade pickle. It is not going to be soon, but I am taking baby steps in getting there. The traditional pickle making has lot of sun involvement and it is still spring here. The weather is still on the colder side for me to try out any traditional method of pickle making. But I am really eager to try some as the summers are pretty here. I do make thokku quite often like my Mango Thokku, Apple Thokku, Tomato Thokku and instant pickles like Cut Mango Pickle, Cranberry Pickle, Bitter gourd Pickle, Green Chili Pickle and Ginger Pickle.
For now, the only think I could think of was making something out of Lemon for the alphabet L. I wanted a recipe that I can use to make Lemon pickle without using the sunlight. I also did not want to sauté the lemons to make the pickle as I read that it can make the pickle bitter. So I asked my mother’s chitti for a recipe for Lemon Pickle and she gave me her version of the pickle. It was so simple to make and tastes amazing. I was able to eat the pickle the next day after I made it. Thank you Pattu Chitti for the recipe!


I used the huge lemons that we commonly find here in US. Using just 5 was enough to yield about 2 cups of pickle. If using the Indian lemons, use about 12 for the same quantity. Also the chili powder and salt is what I used for my measurements. Make sure you adjust that based on your liking. I used the Kashmiri red chili powder; hence the bright color of the pickle. My husband felt that it was not too spicy at all and asked me to use more next time. I sort of liked the medium spiciness as I could eat a lot and also the boys were able to enjoy it.

My other recipes from this series –

A – Athirasam
B – Badam Burfi
C – Chettinad Masala Cheeyam
D – Dosai Milagai Podi
E – Ellu Urundai
F – Fruit Kesari
G – Godhumai Rava Pidi Kozhukattai
H – Homemade Rice flour
I – Inji Marappa 
J – Jevvarisi Thengai Paal Payasam
K – Kancheepuram Idli

Preparation time – 10 minutes plus about 4 hours of resting time
Cooking time – 10 minutes
Difficulty level – easy

Ingredients – (makes about 2 cups of pickle)

  • Lemon – 5 large or 10 small (I used the US large Lemons)
  • Salt – 2 tbsp (more if needed)
  • Chili powder – 4 tbsp (I used medium spicy chili powder)
  • Roasted fenugreek powder – ½ tsp
  • Asafetida -1/4 tsp
  • Sesame seed oil / Gingelly oil – ¼ cup
  • Mustard seeds – 1 ½ tsp

Procedure –

  • Wash the lemons and peel off any stickers that are on the lemon skin.
  • In a large pot, heat water (enough to completely submerge the lemons). Let the water come to a rolling boil. Now gently drop the lemons into the boiling water and turn off the flame. Cover the pot with a tight lid and keep it aside.
  • Let the water cool down to room temperature before we proceed to the next step. I added the lemons in the boiling water at night and then let it sit overnight. I proceeded to make the pickle the next day morning.
  • Once the water had cooled down entirely, remove the lemons from the water. The lemon would be very soft and squishy and this stage.
  • Chop the lemons into desired shape. Lot of juice will flow out when you cut the lemons. Save all the juice as we will add it to the pickle. I used a plate to chop the lemons and kept draining the juice and the chopped lemons into a large non-reactive bowl.
  • To the chopped lemon, add the salt, chili powder, asafetida and roasted fenugreek powder.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds.
  • Once the seeds crackle, add it to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Mix well and let it sit overnight in the bowl (covered).
  • Transfer the pickle to a sterilized jar and keep it airtight. The pickle should keep well outside, since it has quite a bit of oil in it. I am planning on storing it in the refrigerator after couple of weeks. This will give time for the lemons to keep getting softer
  • The pickle can be consumed the next day itself. I found the lemons to be quite soft and delicious to eat.


Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63


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