This pickle can be made with just lemon and salt, however, adding spices makes them more interesting! You can use any kind of lemons, my favorite is Meyer lemon. I usually get them fresh from the farmers market.
The following recipe is very forgiving as long as you have lemon and salt ratio right, which is 5 to 1 by weight. For example, if you have 500 grams of lemons, use 100 grams of salt. You can use any spices of choice, most common spices for lemon pickle are red chili (or cayenne) pepper and turmeric. Adding ginger and green chilies makes them not only tasty but also great for digestion.
Wash and pat dry lemons with a paper towel and cut them into small pieces like this…
It’s worth repeating that salt should be 1/5 of the amount of lemons. This is the most important step. The lemon pickle will keep for years if the lemon and salt ratio is correct.
Mix lemon pieces with salt and leave them covered for at least a day.
These are the spices we will add to the salted lemons.
Heat up a pan and dry roast mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds separately. Mustard seeds will take 2-3 minutes and fenugreek seeds 1-2 minutes.
Crush roasted mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds in a mortar and pestle. Cut green chilies in rounds and chop or grate ginger.
In a pan add 1-2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, sugar, 2-3 tablespoon water to dissolve sugar. Stir and reduce flame to simmer once the sugar starts melting, it will take less than a minute. Add rest of the spices and ginger. Turn off heat once sugar dissolves completely. It will take another minute or so.
Add the cooled spice mixture into salted lemons.
And the last step is to jar them and cover the lids properly. Now wait for at least a week to enjoy them. Pickle will taste better after 3 weeks and will stay good for years.
Easy Meyer Lemon Pickle
- 1815 grams (4 Pounds) lemons
- 365 grams salt (coarse grey Celtic sea salt preferred. Salt should be 1/5 of the amount of lemons in weight)
- 1 cup sugar (organic is preferable)
- 6 Tbsp red chili or cayenne pepper
- 4 – 5 star anise
- 4 Tbsp mustard seeds
- 4 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 4 – 6 inches of ginger, cut into small pieces
- 10 – 12 green Thai chilies or jalapeño, cut into small rounds
- Wash and cut lemons in small pieces. Add salt, stir to coat lemons with salt, cover the bowl and leave at least for 1 day.
- Heat a pan and dry roast mustard for 2-3 minutes and fenugreek seeds for 1-2 minutes. Crush them coarsely in a mortar and pestle.
- In a pan add 1-2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, sugar, 2-3 tablespoon water to dissolve sugar. Stir and reduce flame to simmer once the sugar starts melting, it will take less than a minute.
- Add red chilie pepper, ginger and star anise. Turn off heat once sugar dissolves completely. It will take only about a minute or two.
- Add roasted and crushed mustard and fenugreek to the pan. Stir to mix.
- Let the spice mixture cool down.
- Add the cooled spice mixture into salted lemons and jar them.
- Pickle will be ready in 2-3 weeks. Enjoy with rice, bread, khichadi, chapati or paratha.