Indian Style Lemon Pickle

If you're making lots of stews, curries and slow cooked meals this winter, make this insanely addictive condiment. This is an Indian style pickle where the lemons are preserved in salt and turmeric. Like lots of the most delicious things, time is the secret ingredient to this pickle. It's so easy to make and then can be set aside and mostly forgotten about. We promise it's not nearly as much work as a gold fish.  

Makes 1 x 750ml jar


  • 800g lemons
  • 80g salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1.5 teaspoon cumin
  • 1.5 teaspoon fenugreek
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • ¼ cup raw sugar



In a small fry pan, lightly dry roast the cumin, mustard seeds and fenugreek. Then grind into a powder with a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.

Cut lemons into 1-2 cm pieces and put into a medium sized bowl. Add in the ground spices, chilli flakes, turmeric and salt and mix well. Add the lemon mixture into a clean sterilised jar or crock and press down to release any juices. See how to sterilise jars here. If the lemons are dry, top with a few tablespoons of lemon juice. Seal the jar and set aside.

Store on your bench top or in the pantry for 3 – 4 weeks. The salt will keep any bacteria at bay and will soften the skins of the lemons. You can give the jar a shake every few days, or when you remember.
After a month, add in the sugar and grated ginger and stir well to combine. Set aside for at least another month. Over this time, the sugar will dissolve and the mixture will thicken. The flavour will keep developing over this time, feel free to add more ginger or a little more sugar if you’d like.
Once it's ready, you can then decant into smaller sterilised jars and store in a cool dark place for up to a year. The flavour will get more intense over time.