Lemon Pickle

May 20, 2019mayurisjikoni
Blog post



My mum use to make huge quantities of lemon pickle and other pickles and store it in those old fashioned ceramic brown and cream jars. The pickle would be served every Sunday along with khichdi and kadhi.

As for the lemon pickle which I love so much,she would leave the lemon pieces in a container, covered with muslin cloth for days in the sun till the lemon peel would become soft.

I never learnt how to make the pickle from her. A few years back Vibha bhabhi made the pickle and shared the recipe with me. Tips like leaving the lemon pieces to marinate in the fridge was my kaki’s valuable tip. I have tasted lemon pickle that is left in the sun and don’t really like it as it tastes like as though the lemon is about to rot. Perhaps they had left it for too long in the sun. I don’t remember my mum’s lemon pickle ever tasting like that.

I’d made the lemon pickle following my bhabhi’s recipe and following my kaki’s tip. However, twice when I made it I forgot to take photos. As I was clearing my kitchen and fridge as I was closing down my home for a year, I found a tin of lemon pieces marinated in salt and lemon juice. I thought I had used it up but surprise surprise, it was right at the back of the fridge.(A tip to remember is try and store things in the fridge in a clear box or tin so its visible). Decided to make the pickle and take it to Mumbai. Now packing pickle to travel with is another story.

I remember many years ago when I’d gone to Kodaikanal International School to leave my kids, we met a Gujarati parent whose clothes perpetually smelt of pickle! Very proudly she told me how many pickles she had made for son! Second story is when some years back when my younger son had come to Mumbai to visit us, he had to go back to Montreal with his friend’s gagra choli for the sangeet night. My sister in law wanted to send some pickle for her son in Montreal. The pickle was in a thick plastic bag. Hubby put it in the small pressure cooker that my son had bought and I thought OK that’s safe. However, while packing my son’s bag, he put the lid of the cooker upside down. When Neel reached Montreal, his friend’s outfit got stained with pickle and the whole bag was stinking of pickle. Thankfully, his friend’s cousin was traveling from Mumbai for the wedding and bought another outfit. The long protruding part of the lid where we insert the whistle, poked into the bag and thus the pickle oil and masala leaked out.

Remembering the above incident, hubby didn’t want me to travel with the pickle. Can’t leave it out in the humid air for over a year, so wrapped it up with cling film and newspapers and loads of sellotape.

I love having chundo(Gujarati sweet mango pickle)  with parathas, rotis, masala puris. I usually like to have lemon pickle with khichdi, stuffed parathas, theplas and chilas or pudlas.

Make this pickle when you get nice, juicy and thin skinned lemons. When in season, I usually marinate them in salt, turmeric powder and lemon juice and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. After a month, the lemon peel becomes soft and that’s when I make the pickle. I use ready made pickle masala that my mother in law gets from Baroda. I rally like the taste of it.

lemon pickle 2

lemon pickle 3

lemon pickle 1

lemon pickle 4


Makes about 2 cups

For Marinating:
3 medium lemons
1 tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
¼ cup lemon juice

For making the pickle:
¾ cup sugar or soft or grated gur (jaggery)
3 tbsp coriander cumin powder (dhana jiru)
2-3 tbsp ready pickle masala
1 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
¼ cup oil

  1. Wash the lemon and dry it with a cloth.
  2. Cut the lemons into quarters and each one cut into two. This way you should have 8 quarters. From 3 lemons you will get about 1½ cups of lemon quarters. With a sharp knife remove the seeds and the white part of the lemon.(pith)
  3. Mix lemon pieces, salt, turmeric powder and lemon juice in a bowl.
  4. Store the lemon mixture in an airtight container and put it away in the fridge.
  5. After a month the lemon peel will become soft. Remember to mix the marinate occasionally.
  6. When the lemon peel is soft, prepare the masala for the pickle.
  7. Put the sugar or gur in a bowl. Add dhana jiru, pickle masala and red chilli powder. Add the marinated lemon and mix well.
  8. Cover and leave the mixture at room temperature till the gur or sugar melts.
  9. Heat oil in a pan over low heat and add the lemon mixture.
  10. Stir the mixture constantly till it begins to bubble gently.
  11. Take the pan off the heat.
  12. Cover the pan with a cloth and let it cool down completely.
  13. Store in a jar and keep in the fridge to maintain the freshness or leave it out but in a cool place.
  • Remove the seeds and whit part of the lemon otherwise the pickle will taste bitter.
  • For a more sweeter pickle, add 1 cup of sugar or gur instead of ¾.
  • If the ready pickle masala is not chilli enough, add red chilli powder according to your taste.
  • Over cooking the pickle will caramelize it. Remove the pan off the heat once the mixture begins to bubble.
  • When half the amount of pickle is left, I marinate another lot so that it is ready to be made into a pickle when I need it.

Pin for Later:

lemon pickle pin

A little request:

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
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  • poonampagar

    May 20, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Can’t take my eyes off this gorgeous looking lemon pickle ! Beautiful color , superb writeup and a detailed recipe. What’s not to like about this post ?

  • The Girl Next Door

    May 20, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    I love lemon pickle, but we never make it sweet. I’m fond of the sweet version of lemon pickle we buy from stores, and now I know how to make it at home! 🙂

    Do you use store-bought pickle masala for this?

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 21, 2019 at 5:46 pm

      I use store bought pickle masala Priya, my mother in law gets it from Baroda whenever someone comes to Mumbai. I don’t know the name of the shop all I know its in Alkapuri.

  • Vasusvegkitchen

    May 20, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    Lemon pickle looking colorful and mouthwatering. Mom nd MIL d’t add jaggery, Ur lemon pickle is very interesting. Tips that you shared are very helpful. Loved to have your lemon pickle with curd rice 😋😋.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 21, 2019 at 5:44 pm

      Thanks Aruna, as you most Gujarati pickles have some jaggery or sugar.

  • FoodTrails

    May 21, 2019 at 8:09 am

    The color of this lemon pickle is so gorgeous…I have weakness for sweet and tangy pickles and chutneys..Homemade pickles are the best ., but carrying it is a big problem while travelling thru flights or abroad, even my hubby refused to carry one when he travelled to US for the first time..

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 21, 2019 at 5:38 pm

      Thanks Swati and I don’t blame him 🙂 as any accident and your clothes and suitcase can smell forever. Before when security checks were not so stringent, my aunt use to carry pickles back to UK in the 70s as hand luggage.

  • themadscientistskitchen

    May 21, 2019 at 10:17 am

    Omg.i love it. I usually leave the lemon to marinate n then serve it. But I love the next part of adding jaggery etc. The pickle will be awesome. Doubt if I will be allowed to eat some but my kids will love it.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 21, 2019 at 5:36 pm

      Thanks Archana, you could try a bit 🙂

  • Batter Up With Sujata

    May 21, 2019 at 11:39 am

    Pickle looks lip-smackingly delicious. I also have some lemon pieces in lemon juice and salt. Will try it with them. Easy quick and delicious recipe. Lovely share.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 21, 2019 at 5:35 pm

      Thanks Sujata, do try out the recipe. You can make your spice mixture at home or buy ready made.

      1. Batter Up With Sujata

        May 22, 2019 at 2:48 pm

        Sure 😊

  • shobhakeshwani

    May 22, 2019 at 4:30 am

    What a lovely colour this pickle has .. I love making and eating pickles. Bookmarking it.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 22, 2019 at 5:59 pm

      Thank you so much Shobha.

  • Renu Agrawal Dongre

    May 24, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    This reminded me of a pickle my neighbours use to make from lemon. The pickle is lip smacking delicious and I would just enjoy a dollop with dal and rice.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 26, 2019 at 5:33 pm

      Thanks Renu.

  • Sasmita Sahoo Samanta

    May 25, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    Such a gorgeous color of this pickle di !!! I just love lemon pickle and my pantry always have a jar of this throughout the year 🙂

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 26, 2019 at 5:30 pm

      Thanks Sasmita, I have to store mine in the fridge because of the humid climate.

  • preethi76

    May 26, 2019 at 7:38 am

    What a colour!! Leaving the marinated peel in the fridge is an interesting tip. Love your recipe . I am a fan of pickles. I can relate to your story of the carrying pickle while travelling back from India. My hubbys just refuses to carry any kind of pickles as his clothes were stained once because of the pickle masala.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 26, 2019 at 5:26 pm

      Yes I think we all have some pickle story to relate. Thanks for your kind comment Preethi.

  • Veena Krishnakumar

    May 26, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    wow!!!I cant take my eyes of this lemon pickle. I am just wondering if you have a recipe for the pickle masala. Since I am not sure if I get this masala off the shelf here. I want to prepare this asap. Lovely share Mayuri

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 26, 2019 at 5:18 pm

      Thanks Veena, unfortunately I don’t have the pickle masala recipe as I’ve always used the ready made one that my mother in law buys for me.

    2. mayurisjikoni

      May 26, 2019 at 5:24 pm

      Veena just found out from my mother in law, the name of the pickle masala is APEX hot and spicy pickle masala.

  • Amber Dickison

    May 27, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Oh wow! This looks so mouth watering! I love how deep and rich the color is

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 29, 2019 at 4:15 pm

      Thanks Amber.

  • Rahul Sangle

    March 12, 2020 at 9:15 am

    Lemon pickle is a must have in most households. These are food items that are always stored so that people can enjoy it with their routine foods. The picture you have shared of Lemon Pickle is really colourful. I don’t like pickles much, else I would surely try this recipe at my home. Thanks for sharing.

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