Lemon Chutney

September 17, 2018mayurisjikoni




Lemon Chutney is a versatile, easy to make, flavourful, spicy Indian style chutney. What I like about this recipe is that if you add enough oil, it stays fresh in the fridge for months. It is actually a much quicker version of the Gujarati lemon pickle or limbu nu athanu. You will always find a jar or lemon chutney in my fridge as it is my favourite.

Not only that, it is a versatile chutney. Enjoy it with:

  • theplas
  • parathas
  • leftover roti
  • khichdi
  • cheela
  • bhajia
  • as a spread for sandwiches
  • in wraps
  • bajri na dhebra
  • plain rice
  • with main meal
  • bajra na rotla



The popular saying goes “When Life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Well this does not mean that in the literal sense. It is believed that the phrase was coined by the writer Elbert Hubbard in 1915. The reference to the lemon is in regard to its sourness or difficulty in life and basically indicates to overcome it and get on with life, to have a hopeful and optimistic outlook towards life.

When Sasmita who blogs at First Timer Cook suggested LEMONS as our #162nd theme she didn’t want use to make lemonade. She wanted us to put on our thinking caps and make something different using lemons.She certainly put on a thinking cap as she came up with these beautiful, tempting Lemon Creme Brulee.


My Recipe For The Theme: Lemon Chutney

For me that’s not a problem at all as I love the fragrance of lemon and love drizzling it on almost anything from boiled potatoes to fried cassava and salads. Lemons are the only things that make me salivate.. no truly, whenever I squeeze a lemon, ‘muh main pani aajata hai'(my mouth waters).

As you know recently I’ve been making oodles of Indian Flat breads, actually 26 different types for the Mega Blogging Marathon. I was quickly running out of pickles and that’s when I thought of making a lemon chutney.


This lemon chutney is my eldest foi’s (bua) recipe. Well she doesn’t have any fixed amounts of ingredients that she would use and now at 90 when I ask her for measurements, she just gets confused. So I just had to remember both the method she had narrated to me and the taste. From there, then work on it accordingly. This group theme finally got me to make this aromatic, tangy and sweet chutney and believe it or not my hands were smelling so good the whole day with lemon.

Buying Lemons

Hubby was going to see a patient at the hospital and I asked him to stop at the green grocers  on his way back to buy lemons. And his question to me  “We’re leaving in a few days time, why do you need lemon, aren’t you suppose to clear what’s in the fridge?” I just insisted that I wanted lemons and not any lemons.

I wanted those big fragrant rather sweetish lemons with a thicker rind and not the more sour and thin skinned Indian lemon. He just rolled his eyes and left. I crossed my fingers,  hoping that he would buy them or else I’d have to go to the green grocers. He did come home with the lemons and I was like a little girl getting an ice cream as a treat.

Which Lemons To Use?

I prefer using the Lisbon or Eureka Lemons as they tend to be more fragrant and less acidic. However, when those are not available or are too expensive then I stick to the Indian Lemon (also known as Nepali or round lemon). If using the Lisbon or Eureka ones you need only 2 as they are fairly large. On the other hand, you will need about 4-5 of the Indian Lemons as they are small.

History Of Lemon

The origin of lemon is unknown but it is believed that they originate from the north eastern part of India particularly Assam, Northern Myanmar or China. Studies indicate that lemon was a hybrid between citron and bitter orange. Lemons entered Europe via Italy in the second century AD but were not widely cultivated. Around 700 AD they were introduced to Persia, Egypt and Iraq. It was around the 15th Century that substantial cultivation of lemons took place in Genoa. Lemons were introduced to the Americas by Christopher Columbus in 1493. He brought the lemon seeds during his travel to Hispaniola.


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  • Lemons – if you use Lisbon or Eureka Lemons then you need only 2 medium to large ones. If you use the Indian Lemon variety then you will need 4-5. Wash the lemons properly as they will be cooked with the skin.
  • Water – to cook the lemons in.
  • Sugar – can use white sugar or brown. Can also use jaggery. If you use jaggery or brown sugar the colour of the chutney will be much more on the brownish side. The amount of sugar or jaggery you need will depend on how sour the lemons are. Lisbon or Eureka require less sugar and the Indian Lemons need more.
  • Turmeric Powder – haldi, hardar.
  • Red Chilli Powder – I use a combination of Kashmiri Red Chilli powder for the colour and the hot red chilli powder for the taste.
  • Coriander Powder – dhania powder.
  • Fennel Powder – valiyari, saunf powder.
  • Salt – normal iodized/table salt.
  • Oil – I prefer to use sunflower oil. You can use any oil of your choice. I always add a bit more as then I can drizzle the spicy oil over khichdi, dhokra, muthiya, khichu.




lemon chutney 1


lemon chutney 4



Lemon Chutney is a versatile, easy to make, flavourful, spicy Indian style chutney. What I like about this recipe is that if you add enough oil, it stays fresh in the fridge for months. It is actually a much quicker version of the Gujarati lemon pickle or limbu nu athanu.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course chutney, condiment
Cuisine Gujarati, Indian
Servings 1 cup


  • 2 large lemons or 5 small Indian Lemons
  • ¼ - ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder hot
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp fennel seed powder
  • ½ - ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ - ⅓ cup oil
  • 2-3 cups water


  • Wash the lemons properly. Put them in a saucepan with enough water.
  • Cover the pan and put it on medium heat.
  • Let the whole lemons simmer in the water till soft and done. This takes about 10 -15 minutes.
  • Remove the lemons from the water and let them cool down a bit. Don't throw away the water. Read the tip below on how to use this aromatic water.
  • Cut the lemon into wedges and remove the seeds. Cut off the thick white pith at the top. Sometimes it is easier to snip off the white pith with a pair of scissors.
  • Put the chopped lemon along with the sugar in a food processor and process to a coarse paste.
  • Heat oil on a pan over low heat. Make sure the oil is not too hot. It will burn the spices.
  • Add red chilli powders and turmeric powder.
  • Immediately add the pureed lemon.
  • Mix well. Take the pan off the heat.
  • Add salt, coriander and fennel powders.
  • Mix well.
  • Serve the chutney with parathas, dosa, cheela, as a sandwich spread or with any snack.
  • Store the chutney in an airtight jar and in the fridge.


  • I put the water in which the lemons were boiled into a spray bottle and sprayed the house with it. Had the lemon scent at least for a couple of hours.
  • Add hot chilli powder according to your taste.
  • Roast coriander and fennel seeds before you powder it.
  • Store leftover chutney in the fridge in an airtight container.
  • Add more hot oil to the chutney so that it lasts longer. Drizzle the spicy oil over dhokla, khichu, muthiya, etc.
Keyword easy lemon chutney recipe, how to make lemon chutney, lemon chutney




If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email mayuri.ajay.patel62@gmail.com
  • tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962











  • The girl next door

    September 17, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    I make a South Indian lemon chutney often, and we absolutely love it. Your version sounds really interesting too! 🙂

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 17, 2018 at 8:19 pm

      Thnanks Priya. Would love to know what you add for the South Indian version.

  • Seema Doraiswamy Sriram

    September 18, 2018 at 6:42 am

    I have always had the spicy sweet lemon pickle, but this is a new one to me. with the tangy lemon to tie it all, it is a sure welcome

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 18, 2018 at 5:16 pm

      Thanks Seema, try the chutney, its easy to make and tasty.

  • Batter Up With Sujata

    September 18, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Chutney looks lip-smacking Mayuri. Loved the vibrant colour. Can’t wait to try it out. Lovely share.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 18, 2018 at 5:11 pm

      Thank you so much Sujata.

  • poonampagar

    September 18, 2018 at 11:37 am

    The lemon chutney sounds interesting di ! I had always thought grinding boiled lemons with skin would make them bitter. Would love to try your version di. Thanks for the share.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 18, 2018 at 5:10 pm

      Thanks Poonam, I read somewhere that boiling the lemons removes the bitterness. This chutney did not taste bitter at all. Just have to remember to remove the seeds and any thick white part.

  • Sasmita Sahoo Samanta

    September 19, 2018 at 9:27 am

    I do like the lemon pickle   But lemon chutney !!! new for me and tempting me to try my hand soon ….. Awesome share for theme 🙂

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 19, 2018 at 7:52 pm

      Thanks Sasmita…try it..it really delicious.

  • Preethi Prasad

    September 22, 2018 at 7:01 am

    A lip smacking vibrant chutney.Bookmarking it .Can’t wait to try this awesome recipe.Loved the tip to use the boiled lemon water.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 4, 2018 at 6:54 pm

      Thanks Preethi try the chutney and yes the house for a while was smelling lemony good 🙂

  • Saswati

    September 23, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    What a different chutney recipe..I can taste it with a khakra..yumm yumm.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 4, 2018 at 6:41 pm

      Thank you so much Saswati.

  • Sujata Shukla

    September 24, 2018 at 10:21 am

    I just realised after reading this post that I have not tried a lemon chutney before! Orange peel, yes but not lemon. Sounds tasty and easy to make. Thanks for sharing, Mayuri!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 4, 2018 at 6:36 pm

      Most welcome Sujata, please try the lemon chutney, it does turn out really good. I will have to try the orange peel one 🙂

  • veena

    September 29, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    wow!!This is new to me and I shall make this soon and send you a picture. Mouthwatering Mayuri!!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 29, 2018 at 9:30 pm

      Thank you so much Veena, please do try it and share a picture.

  • Vasusvegkitchen

    June 2, 2019 at 4:39 am

    Lemon chutney looks vibrant and mouthwatering, never tried and tasted sweet lemon chutney. It’s new to me, hubby like lemon pickle for curd rice. Will try it soon, good share👍

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 3, 2019 at 11:40 am

      Thank you Aruna, I’ve used this chutney with theplas, rice, khichdi and even in sandwiches. I’ve tried making it with the thin skinned lemons we get in India and its not as good as it is with the thick skinned lemons.

  • FoodTrails

    June 2, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    This one is so different from the usual lemon pickles.. will surely want to give it a try. I love the khatta Meetha taste and it is so perfect for me..

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 3, 2019 at 11:36 am

      Thanks Swati and you get lovely yellow lemons so try it.

  • Mina Joshi

    June 2, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    Just reading your recipe was making me crave for this chutney.It would be perfect with parathas. I will try making this in the instant pot.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 3, 2019 at 11:35 am

      Thanks Mina, let me know how you do it so whenever I’m in Montreal can make it in the IP as my son has one.

  • Renu Agrawal Dongre

    June 4, 2019 at 11:09 pm

    This chutney sounds fascinating and very easy to make. I would just spread this on roti or simple add in to Dal and rice and can enjoy. Awesome tips of using the lemon water.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 9, 2019 at 12:36 am

      Thank you so much Renu.

  • Shobha Keshwani

    May 28, 2022 at 6:33 am

    5 stars
    I am a great fan of pickles and chutneys. This chutney looks really nice to serve with parathas. Even the discarded peels can be pickled I guess. I will make it when I get back.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 28, 2022 at 12:07 pm

      Thank you so much Shobha, I love this lemon chutney. I usually leave squeezed out lemon halves or quarters and peels in the fridge. It keeps the fridge odour free. If possible you should try the chutney with the large lemons that are usually available in the supermarket where you are present.

  • Seema Sriram

    May 29, 2022 at 7:51 pm

    5 stars
    The lemon chutney sounds, tangy delicious and overall a must-try. I love how smooth these are and I am sure they pair well with stuffed parathas.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 1, 2022 at 6:39 pm

      Thanks Seema, please try the chutney, it pairs well with so many things.

  • Archana

    May 30, 2022 at 2:19 am

    5 stars
    I love the addition of oil to the lemon chutney here, Mayuri. I make mine similarly but do not use oil. I think I will make some with oil this time the chutney will taste amazing and I need not be paranoid about refrigerating it! 😀

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 1, 2022 at 6:38 pm

      Thanks Archana, I do refrigerate it even with the oil because of the hot and humid climate. I add the oil because often I use only the oil to drizzle on rice, dhokla, khichi, etc.

  • Kalyani

    June 1, 2022 at 2:07 am

    5 stars
    while we make a south indian pickle with lemons, this instant lemon chutney is so so intriguing, bet it tastes yum with parathas / theplas or even bread too! will wait for the lemons to come to decent pricing to try out this chutney

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 1, 2022 at 6:33 pm

      Thanks Kalyani, we also make lemon pickle.The chutney is versatile so do try it out. Yes, heard that lemons in India at the moment are very expensive.

  • Chef Mireille

    June 1, 2022 at 11:25 am

    5 stars
    NEver heard of lemon chutney before but it has such a bright flavor. Delicious!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 1, 2022 at 6:32 pm

      Try it Mireille, am sure you’ll like it.

  • Jayashree T.Rao

    June 2, 2022 at 4:14 am

    5 stars
    Love this lemon chutney, it is flavoursome and hands have a nice fragrance. I make a different version, will try your recipe soon.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 3, 2022 at 8:38 pm

      Thanks Jayashree.

  • Priya Vj

    June 4, 2022 at 9:51 am

    5 stars
    I was literally salivating as I was scrolling through pics ..lemon has the tendency ti make your mouth water even by just thinking off it . Vibrant color of the chutney and the recipe is so easy to follow and will be a keeper to serve as an accompaniment

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 6, 2022 at 2:22 pm

      Thank you so much, my mouth too waters when I think of lemon. You should see me when I squeeze one. I also enjoying sucking on the squeezed out half..even though it is sour.

  • Huntersmoon

    June 2, 2023 at 1:54 pm

    5 stars
    Having recently arrived back from Italy with some amazing lemons in my luggage I needed a tasty way to use them My mum, when we lived in Nairobi made a delicious lemon chutney so I decided to sacrifice my lemons. Your recipe was amazing and the taste incredible. I made one small change by adding black mustard seeds at the start as this as how my mum started. Just fabulous! Thank you so much.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 6, 2023 at 4:38 pm

      Thank you so much for trying out the recipe. I am so glad you liked it. I do like the mustard seeds idea. Will definitely add them when I make my next batch of lemon chutney.

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