Kerala Style Pickled Lemons
Recipe Type: Appetiser
Serves: 1 jar
Serve these spicy pickled lemons with hot white rice or kanji (rice porridge).
  • Lemons: 10-12 medium sized.
  • Bird's eye chilli (Kandari mulaku): A handful, slit.
  • Garlic: 3 to 4 cloves, (or even more if you like garlic)
  • Ginger: 4, 1 inch pieces
  • Curry leaves: 2 to 3 sprigs.
  • Vinegar: ¾ cup.
  • Gingelly oil: 1 tbsp.
  • Turmeric Powder: ½ tsp
  • Sugar: 1 tsp
  • Salt: 2 to 3 tsp or as needed
  1. Wash, pat dry and slit the chilli.
  2. Wash, scrub the lemons and pop them into a steamer.
  3. Close, the lid and steam for about 5-7 min and then switch off the fire and open. It is best not to allow the lemons to crack, if the lemons crack open the juices will escape and go waste. Allow it to cool down.
  4. Peel and slit the garlic into half, slice the ginger, and remove the stem from the chillies and slit them half way.
  5. Cut the lemon into quarters or even smaller if you like. Add salt to it and mix well and put aside.
  6. Heat a pan, add in gingelly oil, when it is hot, add in 1 tsp mustard seeds, allow it splutter, then add ¾ tsp fenugreek seeds and lastly half a tsp of asafoitida or hing.
  7. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli, turmeric powder, and curry leaves. Lightly saute it.
  8. Do not allow the garlic to change color. Switch off the fire.
  9. Put this into the lemon and mix well.
  10. Then in the the same kadai or pan heat ¾ cup of vinegar and add 1 tsp sugar. Once it starts to boil and sugar has melted allow it cool down and then mix with lemon.
  11. When it comes to room temperature. Bottle in a sun dried glass bottle.
Recipe by Honest Cooking at