Lemon Pickle without Oil

A great way to add some zest in your Indian food.
Fairly difficult

Lemon Pickle without Oil
Preparation time
Cooking time


For 1 Person(s)


  • 6 large lemons
  • 0.5 cup(s) salt
  • 0.25 cup(s) red chili powder
  • 0.5 cup(s) sugar
  • 3 teaspoon(s) turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon(s) methi seeds
  • 1 teaspoon(s) black mustard seeds
  • 0.25 teaspoon(s) asafetida (heeng) powder
  • 4 tablespoon(s) lemon juice
  • large glass jar, roughly 2 liters in volume

Lemon Pickle without Oil Directions

  1. Wash and dry 6 lemons thoroughly. (12 lemons if you are in India as they are much smaller than the lemons in the US.) There should be no water on the lemons or in your jar. This is very important.
  2. Cut the lemon into quarters and then cut each quarter into a half along the length. Then cut each resulting piece into quarters or thirds.
  3. Fill the glass jar as you go along. Your jar will soon look like it will overflow. Don't worry. Everything will settle down and there will be tons of space in the jar.
  4. Add ½-cup salt.
  5. Add ¼-cup chili powder.
  6. Add ½-cup sugar.
  7. Add 3 tsp of turmeric powder and shake the jar about to help the powders get to as many lemons as possible.
  8. Next you need 1 tsp methi seeds, 1 tsp black mustard seeds, ¼ tsp asafetida or hing powder.
  9. Roast these three ingredients on medium flame for about 4-5 minutes till there is a mouth-watering aroma in your kitchen and the methi seeds look a little tanned. They should not look sunburnt, just nicely tanned.
  10. Grind these into powdered and mix to the jar. The lemons should have started oozing juice already.
  11. Add the juice of 1 lemon.
  12. The jar must be placed in the sun to cook slowly in its warmth. Give it a good shake as you put it out and bring it in each day. Your pickle should be ready in about 2 months when the peel has softened and is no longer crisp.