My first attempt at pickling!

Distant shores make you do certain things…other than constantly craving for things that you love to eat, you are also careful to use your stash of curry powders, pickles and other home-made spice mixes that you can’t find anywhere but your mom’s kitchen!

So that’s how I ended my making my lime pickle. Most South Indian households always have jars of lime pickle ready for use throughout the year. It is a sort of must-have in your pantry. When my stash of pickles from India was empty and replenishment was some weeks away, I decided to make lime pickle. With summer in full swing, it was very easy to find juicy limes and lemons.

Yes, it took a while for me to distinguish between lemons and limes in this country. Limes are the smaller,greener ones, the kind you get in India and lemons are the bigger, juicier ones and mostly bright yellow. I used both in my pickle.

8-10 limes

5-6 lemons

3-4 tablespoons of chilli powder

1 tablespoon mustard seeds

1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds

2 pinches of asafoetida

1 teaspoon of turmeric

Salt (sea salt or regular)

Wash and dry the limes and lemons. Make sure there is absolutely no moisture. All equipment used while making pickles should be dry. That is how you get pickles with a long shelf life.

Cut the limes into halves. Keep aside half the lemons and cut the rest into quarters. Cut about 2-3 of these at a time and drop it in a jar. As you drop one layer of limes, add one small handful or about 2 tablespoons of salt. Continue this until you finish with all the limes. Put the lid on the jar and store it in a dry place for about a week.

After a week, empty the contents into a dry bowl. The skin of the lime and the lemons should be tender.  Add the turmeric and chilli powder. Dry roast the mustard, fenugreek and asafoetida.Grind them well and add the powder to the bowl.  Squeeze the juice of the rest of the lemons which were kept aside. Mix well and adjust the salt and chilli powder as per your taste.  Put this in the jar again and enjoy yummy pickle after about 8-10 days!

Instant mango pickle

Instant mango pickle(dheedeer uppinakaayi) is always reminiscent of Indian weddings in summer. In South Indian weddings, lunch is always served with a pinch of salt and pickle on the edge of the banana leaf. If it is the season of mangoes, you can always expect instant pickle to be served! It is so-called because it is doesn’t  need the tedious process of making pickles. Because of this reason, it doesn’t have a long shelf  life, but it is every bit as delicious!


1 Unripe green mango

2 table spoons of salt

2 table spoons of red chilli powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoons of peanut oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

A pinch of asafoetida/ hing


Wash the mango and dry it thoroughly using a cloth. Cut the mango into little pieces. Add chilli powder and salt. Keep it aside for a couple of hours until the mango soaks up the salt and releases all its juices.

Heat the oil in a small kadai, add the mustard seeds. Once the seeds splutter, turn off the heat and add hing and cover the kadai immediately. Adding the hing after turning off the heat ensures that it doesn’t burn, also covering the kadai ensures that the flavour of hing is retained.

Add the seasoning to the mango mixture and mix well. Store this in airtight container and refrigerate. You can use this up to 15 days if kept refrigerated.