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Nimbu ka Achaar (lime pickle)


This is probably one of the two most popular of Indian pickles - mango and lime. It is surprisingly easy to make but takes patience and time!


  • 2 dozen medium to large limes quartered (remove seeds if you like)
  • 3/4 cup white rock/sea salt
  • 1/4 cup black rock salt
  • 8 tsps aniseed/fennel seeds roasted and coarsely ground
  • 8 tsps mustard seeds powdered
  • 8 tbsps chilli powder
  • 3 tsps turmeric powder
  • 2 cups mustard oil
  • 2 tsps mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp asafetida


  • Sterilise and dry a glass pickling jar.
  • Put the limes into it, cover with the white and black salts and mix well. Cover the jar tightly and keep it out in the sun for 2 weeks (this is the part where you must have patience!). The limes turn a pale brown color in this time.
  • Mix the mustard powder, fennel, chilli and turmeric powders together and add to the limes. Mix thoroughly.
  • In a pan, heat the mustard oil to smoking point and add the mustard seeds. They will splutter. When done add the asafetida and immediately turn off the fire.
  • Pour this hot oil over the limes and mix everything well.
  • Allow the pickle to 'rest' for a week before eating it.
  • Serve with rice, Chapati (Indian flatbread) or stuffed parathas.
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