Lemon Pickle (Sun cooked)

22 Jan

This has got to be my all time favourite Indian pickle. The lemons are ripening on my lemon tree so it is time to make another batch of this pickle. Deliciously hot, aromatic and sour, this hot lemon pickle is wonderful and adds a high kick to any meal and aids digestion.

I am really impressed by the sun cooking method used to make many Indian pickles. Using a natural heat source is surprisingly effective and the pickles, whether using dense root vegetables like carrots or pithy fruits like the citrus, are softened by the sun and the gentle heating allows the spices to work their way into the fruits or vegetables. Brilliantly simple.

The quantities here make enough to fill a quart or 1 pint kilner Jar.
*4 large lemons
*1.5 tbsp sea salt
*1 heaped tsp turmeric powder

Wash the lemons in hot water and leave in the sun to dry completely. Cut the lemons into bite size pieces and put into a wide bowl. Add the salt and turmeric and mix well. Spoon into a clean glass jar and place on a window sill to cook in the sun for 5-7days or until the lemons are soft.

Image Stage 1 lemons, salt and turmeric loosely packed into a jar.

Image Lemon pickle ‘cooking’ outside in the sun

Spice Mix 1 tsp each of:
*cumin seeds
*coriander seeds (I sometimes leave it out)
*cayenne (dried chillis)
*yellow mustard seeds
*fenugreek seeds
*1 cup vegetable oil

Empty the lemons into a clean bowl. Grind the spices to a fine powder and sprinkle onto the sun-cooked lemons. Heat 1 cup of vegetable oil and when hot pour over the lemons and spices mix well and pack into a sterilised kilner jar and top off with a layer of oil to cover and seal. The pickle is ready to eat after about 1 week and will keep for at least 1 year that I know of.

Note In the winter months it is cold outside but when the sun shines it is low and hot and streams in the windows so it is possible to cook this pickle on the kitchen window sill. In summer I put the jar outside in the sun. If you miss out the process of sun-cooking the lemons remain hard but the pickle is still good.
Recipe Source The original inspiration for this pickle was Bhal Dave on youtube

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One Response to “Lemon Pickle (Sun cooked)”

  1. Laura Hudson 30/09/2009 at 19:02 #

    Original comments1. deborah wrote:Oh I covet your lemons! And I love Indian food, including its wonderfully hot pickles, always redolent with the spices you list. So next summer, when the sun has more warmth, I'll pick up enough organic lemons at the local co-op to try this recipe. Thanks!1/23/09 11:36:08 AM email website2. Sarah wrote:Your lemons look delicious, I like lemons but I don't know what else I can do with it. Glad you shared a great recipe which I think is something that I must really try on. :-)2/1/09 7:04:24 AM email3. Laura wrote:Hi Deborah and Sarah – I hope you do try the recipe and let me know how it turns out for you.2/3/09 6:10:10 AM email website

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