Meyer Lemon Pickle

Things you'll need:

8 squeezed meyer lemon leftovers or 8 whole meyer / regular lemons
4-5 tbsp sea salt (suit your taste)
juice of 2 lemons (if using squeezed lemons only)
4-5 tbsp red chilli powder (suit your taste)
2 tbsp methi / fenugreek seeds (or 1 scant tsp roasted and ground fenugreek)

for the seasoning:

2 tbsp peanut oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
a tad more than 1/8 tsp hing / asafoetida


1 lb or 500 gms capacity wide mouth glass/porcelain jar with a tight fitting lid
parchment paper
Glass / porcelain or stainless steel mixing bowl
long spoon

How it's done:

Part I - Preserving

Wash the glass or porcelain jar well with hot water and soap and let air dry completely in a sunny spot. Before using, microwave it for 30 secs to ensure dryness.

Make sure that all the working surfaces and utensils are completely dry and clean. It is also recommended to use a fresh kitchen towel.

Wash the lemons and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel. Quarter the lemons. Same if you are using squeezed meyer lemon leftovers as well, like I did.

It is very important that there is NO MOISTURE in the jar or the lemons.

To start with, add 1/2 tsp of salt to the bottom of the glass / porcelain jar. Now go on adding lemon pieces and salt in alternating layers until all the pieces are well covered in salt including the topmost layer. Squeeze in the juice of 2 lemons, if you're using squeezed lemons.

Cut out parchment paper slightly bigger than the lid, line it onto the lid and secure tightly. Let it sit for a week to ten days in a cool dry spot.

Shake the jar well or stir the preserved lemons with a long dry spoon once daily to let the salt dissolve. 

After a week to ten days, these salted lemon pieces will leave juices, slowly sink to the bottom and will reduce in volume too.

Part II - Adding the spices

In a small pan, dry roast the fenugreek seeds on low heat until golden brown and fragrant. Let cool, before grinding in a small spice grinder to a fine powder.

In a small, clean, dry bowl, thoroughly mix red chilli powder and 1 tsp roasted and ground fenugreek. Be careful to not overly roast them or they turn bitter.

Empty the jar of preserved lemons into a clean, completely dry, non-reacting mixing bowl. Stir in the chilli-methi powder and mix well using a dry spoon.

Heat oil in a small pan or kadai for the seasoning. When the oil is hot or shimmering, add mustard seeds and let splutter. When the spluttering almost comes to a stop, take off stove and add hing. Once cooled completely, add it to the  mixing bowl and give a good stir. DO NOT add the seasoning when hot or the pickle will develop an odd smell.

With the spoon, scrape clean and transfer the mixed pickle contents back to the jar without wasting a tiny bit. Secure the parchment paper lined lid tightly. Let the pickle soak all the spices for at least a couple of days before using.

Do not handle or mix with your hand at any given point, unless you want a spoiled pickle.


No need to refrigerate. When stored well, this pickle keeps for a long time.

Always use a large enough jar with a wide mouth for pickling, so that there is some room for stirring.

I have used squeezed meyer lemon leftovers for pickling. You can start afresh with whole meyer lemons with their juices intact. Omit the juice of 2 lemons in that case.

Don't add more salt to begin with, as it can always be adjusted later. Salty cannot be fixed though.

All of the fenugreek seeds mentioned, are not needed for the recipe. However, any less would be difficult to grind well in a spice grinder.

Do not discard the leftover ground fenugreek. Store in a small airtight container in the refrigerator for later use. A generous pinch added to the seasoning in your everyday curries gives them a flavor boost.

Preferably, use red chilli powder from byadagi variety chilli or any red chilli that is high on color and medium on heat.

Parchment paper acts as an additional barrier between the corrosive salt and the metal lid, thus ensuring food safety. If not, a piece of clean cotton or muslin cloth can be used in its place.

I find that sea salt is not as salty as regular salt. Please reduce quantity if using table salt.

Rock salt is the salt of choice for pickling at home. Adjust quantity is using.


 Printed from Just Homemade ~

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