Recipe: Hot Lime Pickle

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This is a classic Indian relish, often served with poppadoms before a meal.


  • 12 limes (thin-skinned varieties)
  • 6 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • pinch of turmeric
  • 5 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 2 red chillies, finely shredded
  • 4 tsp oil or ghee


  • Thoroughly wash and dry the limes.
  • Juice 4 and cut the remaining 8 into either 4 or 8 wedges (depending on the size of the limes).
  • Toss the wedges with the salt and lime juice in a bowl.
  • Carefully transfer the limes to a clean, dry, glass or porcelain jar with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Place in a cool spot and allow to soften for 4 days.
  • On the 5th day add the cumin, mustard (1 tsp) and fenugreek seeds to a pan and dry roast.
  • When nicely fragrant place in a coffee grinder and render to a fine powder.
  • Add this to your jar along with the turmeric, chilli powder and chillies.
  • Mix with a clean, dry, spoon to combine then re-seal the jar and set aside for 3 days (this recipe assumes you have thin-skinned limes which will soften in a week; thick-skinned limes may take up to a month to be ready).
  • Just before you are ready to serve the pickle add 4 tsp of oil of ghee to a hot pan along with the remaining 1 tsp mustard seeds.
  • Cook until the mustard seeds 'pop' and flavour the oil.
  • Turn off the heat and allow the oil to cool before adding to the pickle.
  • Mix thoroughly, then serve.


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