Monday, January 7, 2013

Lemon Pickle / Naranga Achar

Pickle is something that is associated with Indian meals/Sadhya always. At our home, we need to have a pickle for lunch/dinner. Lemon pickle being our favorite, I decided to give it a try.

I had been addictive to lemon pickles, but only the ones those turn out to be tender. I have heard people say, that such tenderness in pickles happen, when it is made by people with Kaipunyam. I don't know how far is it true. But I am sure that this recipe is gonna deliver you with one even if you might happen to lack kaipunyam :).

Lemon has its own benefits. It offers a good boost of nutrients that keep you away from many diseases. Rich in Vitamin C, used as preservatives, deodorizer, cleaning agent - how can you not love lemon... be it in any form - juice, zest, rind you name it.

I was introduced to this recipe by my mom-in-law, who had sent across lemon pickle for us. I then realized the key to the recipe of tender lemon pickles is with her :). I love this fact of her, that she goes into every detailed step of its making; that once said, the recipe is gonna get carved onto your memory. Well, seems like this recipe had been passed on for years - she learnt it from her mother and now passed it on to me. So here I go sharing it again with you. Like they say - 'spread the joy' :)


  1. 1 kg of lemon
  2. 10-12 cloves of garlic
  3. 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds
  4. 1/2 tsp of fenugreek seeds
  5. 1/4 tsp of asfoetida
  6. 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
  7. 3-4 tbsp of Kasmiri chilly powder
  8. 1/4 cup of Nallenna/ Sesame oil
  9. 1-2 tsp of vinegar
  10. Curry leaves
  11. Water
  12. Salt to taste


  • In a pan, boil some water. Once the water starts to boil, drop the lemons and 2-3 tbsp of salt in it. The lemons should immerse in it. 
  • Let it cook for about 15-20 mins or untill its skin turns out to be tender. 
  • Remove the lemons from the heat and let it cool.
  • Once cool, wipe each lemon with a tissue or wash cloth. Cut them into pieces as per your desired size of the lemon in the pickle.
  • Add salt as per taste and mix it well and transfer them into clean and dry ceramic or glass jars. Place them in the sun for about 10-15 days.
  • Slice the garlic pods, lengthwise and keep them aside.
  • In a thick bottom pan, pour in the sesame oil. Once the oil gets hot, put mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds and let them splitter.
  • Add garlic pods and curry leaves and saute it on medium heat. Add the kashmiri chilly powder, asafoetida and turmeric powder and give it a mix.
  • Add the lemons into it and mix it well. Adjust the consistency of the pickle by adding hot boiling water, if needed. Let it boil and then remove it from the heat. 
  • Once cooled, add the vinegar and give it a thorough mix and transfer it into ceramic/glass jar.
  • Store it at room temperature for about a week and then refrigerate for future use.


  1. Do not over cook the lemons while boiling them as it would get difficult for you to slice them into pieces.
  2. The time needed to cook the lemon would differ depending on the type of lemon you use in terms of the thickness of its skin. Just let it cook till you feel that the skin is just tender enough to prepare the pickle.
  3. Make sure that the vessels and the ceramic jars used are all moisture free. This would help the pickle to be less prone to fungus attacks.
  4. Always store your pickle in ceramic /glass jars. Never use a steel/plastic containers to store the same.
  5. Sesame oil is preferred, however you could make it in vegetable oil as well.
  6. Once stored in bottles, you could pour a layer of oil on top of the pickle, this too prevents the pickle from getting fungus.

Enjoy your pickle with curd rice or biriyani or any other dish that you would like to have it with. Do come back and share your thoughts on it.

Recipe Courtesy : Mom-in-law.


  1. *chatkaara*

    i like this venture of yours. looking forward to the next post.

    much love

    Shilpa chechi :)

  2. Thanks Chechi :). Can't explain how happy I am to receive a comment from someone I know. Now I get to realize that atleast someone knows, such a blog exist :D.

    Didn't know u too had a blog. Seems interesting. Will go through one by one :).


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