Pickled Limes

A friend of mine at work had an excess of limes, so the time was right to make this wonderful version of pickled limes. I decided to make one of my favourite condiments that I normally serve with one of my home-made curry dishes

Now if you are going to make this, be warned. In winter it take for ages to pickle in the jar, however I dare say that in summer it would only take a week as suggested in the recipe.

Here is the method I used;

Indian Pickled Limes

Makes 3-4 500 ml Jars, depending on the size of the limes.20 limes, cut into quarters

  • 1 cup sea salt
  • juice of 5 limes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 green chillies, cut into long thin strips
  • 2 red chillies, cut into long thin strips
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • extra lime juice (4-5 limes)
  • chilli oil

Mix the quartered limes and sea salt in a bowl. Pack salted limes into a large sterilised jar and top with the freshly squeezed lime juice. Seal and leave for a week in a warm, sunny spot (5 weeks in winter!)

Pickled limes fermenting

I find that these big swing top jars are the best for these sort of thing. The peel was soft and very flexible and the juice has gone very thick and was all the way up to the top of neck of the jars.

After the pickling time has elapsed, heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the spices for 2-3 minutes. Be careful because they burn quickly. Transfer the limes to smaller, sterilised jars.
Stir in the fried spices (I removed the cinnamon stick), and chilli lengths. Top with more lime juice to cover and pour a little chilli oil over the top before sealing.

Store for 2 months before using. I dare say these would keep for quite a while due to the acid in the limes and the large amount of salt.

Here is my finished product. I managed to squeeze them into 4 big jars.

Pickled limes in jars

I must say that the pickle smells absolutely fantastic, and I wanted to demolish half a jar there and then. I can’t wait for a few months, coz it will ready in time for a chickpea curry banquet. Add in the hot chilli chutney, brinjal pickles and home-made yoghurt, it will be a banquet fit for the Raj!


  1. says

    Hi 7and7. Not sure where you could get them from. I wash mine and then rub pure talc over them to keep them preserved. This way they last for ages. Maybe you could pick them up where you can buy new jar lids?


  2. says

    The swing top jars….I bought a bunch of these jars for cannisters while living in the UAE. Now, I am unable to locate a source for the gaskets. Do you have a local source? The ones I’m needing are 4 3/16s Inches on the outside with an inside opening of 3 1/4 Inches. I have done internet searches, but still come up lacking. Thanks!

  3. says

    Hi Anon. I found these two at an opshop/thrift store, but I have seen some in placed like the Reject shop as well.

    Hope that helps.


  4. Anonymous says


    I stumbled upon your site when I searched for swing top jars.

    Can you tell me where you were able to purchase the jars in the picture with pickled limes?

    Thank you very much!


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