Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Easy Lime Pickle

Well, reading through my last post I realised how unfair it was to suggest serving Dhal with lime pickle, and not tell you how to pickle limes. So here is one recipe for lime pickle, to rectify matters.

There seem to be as many ways to pickle limes as there are chefs, but some involve soaking limes for a week and then leaving them in the sun for a month, and such like requirements of dedication. This recipe seems to make a respectable pickle, allows you to vary the heat according to taste, and requires only a bare modicum of cooking. I hope you enjoy the results as much as I do.


A sharp! cooking knife
Chopping block
Cooker (1 ring needed)
Large saucepan
Large mixing bowl
Cling film
Sterilised preserve jars (4 of a decent size will be enough)
Sterilised seals
Sterilised jam funnel

Ingredients - makes 1.2kg approx

12 limes, chopped into 1cm cubes
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon garam marsala
2 tablespoons chilli powder (or 3 for firey hot)
6 fat cloves of garlic
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
1 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
2 tablespoons cooking oil or ghee
600ml vinegar (approx; malt, white wine or cider)


Mix the chopped limes, sugar, salt, chilli powder, garam marsala, crushed garlic and chilli powder together in a large mixing bowl. Cover with clingfilm, and leave in the fridge overnight.

Dry fry the mustard seeds in the bottom of the saucepan until they have started to pop. (30 secs or so). Add the oil, the ginger and the onions, and fry gently until the onions are soft. Add the lime mixture and, on a low heat, cook for 15 mins or so.

Add the vinegar and bring to the boil. Turn the heat back down, and simmer for an hour. Stir frequently, and make sure the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. During this time your mixture will reduce in size by about a half. You are not being cheated - just concentrating the flavour!

At the end, allow to cool, and spoon into sterile jars. Seal.

You can eat immediately, but like many preserves, this one improves with a little keeping. 3 weeks or so should do it, if you can wait that long.

There are no artificial preservatives in this recipe, so once you have opened a jar, store in the fridge and consume within 10 - 14 days.

As regards cost, when I recently made this recipe it cost me £5.20. That includes the premium I pay for buying organic where I can. Buying the same amount of branded pickle from a supermarket would have cost over £8.00.


Best wishes, 2ndRateMind.

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