Do you love teaming poori with a lemon pickle? Lemon Pickle is my favourite achar and I can have it with Khichdi, paratha or chapati. This achar is not just khatta meetha but also a rich source of Vitamin C.
Lemon Pickle or Nimbu ka Achar (as we call it) is an easy oil-free recipe that is a popular Indian condiment and goes well with several Indian dishes.
This gluten-free vegan recipe does not need any addition of oil and can be easily made with very few ingredients.
This pickle requires Kagaji Nimbu (thin-skinned lemons) which are juicy and can be easily softened after keeping in sun.
Spices used in making this achar are Ajwain (Carom Seeds), Black pepper, Red Chilli, and salt.
Best Time to make Lemon Pickle
The best time to make Nimbu ka achar is the months December-January. During winters in India, we get easy access to large, juicy lemons that have thin skin and they are the perfect choice for making a pickle.
Is this an instant achar?
No, it’s not an instant achar. This pickle is made using a long process of fermentation and is the best way to make this amazing tangy pickle that is rich in Vitamin C and doesn’t hurt your throat like the market ones.
Do I need sunlight for this Achar?
I believe sunlight is a must for any achar and not just lemon pickle.
I begin making any pickle by keeping the veggies (here lemon), jars, spoons in sun for drying up. Given a peak winter season in India in the month of January, it’s tough to get things dried up soon without the sun.
Also, a bit of moisture can lead to spoiling up of all your hard work.
Lastly for getting the veggies and spices blend without cooking, keeping pickle jars in sun is the best method.
Is Achar healthy?
I have always added this section in all my achar posts. No food is unhealthy if we know when to stop eating.
Achars are rich source of probiotics and improve the digestion. Most of them are low in oil and carbohydrates.
Since they go through fermentation process, they need to have sodium and sugar.
People on a low-sodium diet should definitely avoid any kind of pickle as pickles have extra salt which can be harmful to them.
Its my family recipe and we have been making this pickle from ages. First, you dry lemons and chop them in any shape. Add just salt and keep it in airtight jar for few days.
This totally depends upon the sunlight you get at your place (also the quality of lemons) It took around 15 days for me to get the peel softened.
I kept the jar in sun almost daily. For salt ratios, I referred to Nisha Madulika’s recipe.
Then, add sugar and spices. Mix well and keep again in sun for few days. From the heat of sun, sugar would mix up slowly and gradually.
Shelf-life and storage of achar
Since the pickles are made using a fermentation process, they can be preserved for a long duration. Depending upon the type and process used to make pickle, determines this closely.
Lemon pickle has no oil and I have jars kept at room temperatures for over one year. Generally, I start making it in the month of January, it gets ready by the end of February and it goes well for a year and I make another batch.
Stories From Kitchen
Have you begin your day with poori, kaddu and nimbu ka achar?
Trust me you have missed one fine Indian delicacy. Born in a Punjabi family, I had access to several jars of pickles and yet to date my favourite is Lemon ka khatta meetha achar.
My daughter loves it too and in toddler days when she won’t eat anything, she would happily eat poori with pickle’s gravy. Gradually, I started making spinach, beetroot pooris to make sure she got more nutrition other than Vitamin C.
Tips for making Achar
Use dry vegetables, spoon, kitchen cloth.
Everything including the spices should be totally dry.
Don’t open jar frequently while pickle making.
Use air-tight containers.
Keep pickle in every step in sun for few hours, days depending upon its type.
1)Wash lemons under the tap and keep them in sun for a day for drying up. I also wash jars and sundry them. Once fully dry, take a kitchen cloth or tissue paper to clean the lemons and jars.
Then chop lemons in quarters and add kala namak along with plain namak.
2) Mix salt well and transfer the lemons to the jars. Keep the jars in sun for 15-20 days. The sun ensures that the lemon skin becomes soft, shrunk, and tender.
3) Once the lemons become dark yellow and tender, you may add sugar and spices: Red chilli powder, black pepper, Ajwain (Carom seeds) and Garm masala. I like it both sweet and spicy. One may adjust as per the taste.
Keep the jars in sun again for 7-10 days.
4) It takes about a week for sugar to dissolve in sun’s heat. The patience pays and the lemon pickle is ready! Enjoy!
You may also like:
- Veg Beetroot Tortillas| How to make Healthy Tacos without egg
- Nimbu ka Khatta Meetha Achar | How to make lemon pickle
- Gobi Gajar Shalgam Achar Recipe | How to make Winter Pickles
- Dhaniya Ambi Chutney | How to make Spicy Dhaniya Chutney
- Tomato Garlic Chutney | How to make Spicy Chutneys for dosa
- Raw Mango Chutney | How to make Kachhe Aam Ki Launji
Lemon Pickle Recipe
- large utensil
- two glass jars (I have used Treo Jars)
- 500 gm fresh lemons around 14-15 medium sized lemons
- 500 gm sugar more for sweet and less for not so sweet
- 1 tsp Ajwain (carom seeds)
- 1 tsp Garm Masala
- 1.5 tbsp Red Chilli powder reduce for less spicy
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1-2 tsp black salt
- 75 gm plain salt
- Wash lemons under the tap and keep them in sun for a day for drying up. I also wash jars and sundry them. Once fully dry, take a kitchen cloth or tissue paper to clean the lemons and jars. Then chop lemons in quarters and add kala namak along with plain namak.
- Mix salt well and transfer the lemons to the jars. Keep the jars in sun for 15-20 days. The sun ensures that the lemon skin becomes soft, shrunk, and tender.
- Once the lemons become dark yellow and tender, you may add sugar and spices: Red chilli powder, black pepper, Ajwain (Carom seeds) and Garm masala. I like it both sweet and spicy. One may adjust as per the taste.Keep the jars in sun again for 7-10 days.
- It takes about a week for sugar to dissolve in sun's heat. The patience pays and the lemon pickle is ready! Enjoy!
|Serving size: 1 tablespoon|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0.1g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 17.3g||6%|
|Dietary Fiber 0.5g||2%|
|Total Sugars 16g|
|Vitamin D 0mcg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.|