Recipes - Pickles & Dips / Recipes - Vegetarian

Indian lime pickle

After my recent success with mango chutney I decided to continue on the Indian theme for my next recipe post. At the same time I was tempted by a great offer on limes at Harris Farm Markets. I love using limes, especially in Mexican dishes.  Limes are not only high in vitamin C they also contain unique compounds that are said to give them anti-carcinogenic, anti-oxidant and antibiotic properties. When they’re out of season and the price skyrockets to $3 per lime I can’t justify buying them too often, but when 8 limes cost only $2 I buy tons of them.

Indian lime pickle recipeSo the obvious choice when combining the Indian theme with all of those limes I’d bought was a lime pickle.

Indian lime pickle recipe

I sourced this recipe from and made two adjustments. Firstly I omitted 125g of sugar. Secondly I replaced mustard seed oil with coconut oil. By simply removing the sugar this pickle becomes another flavour packed recipe that’s really healthy. Not only are limes good for you but combine them with garlic, ginger, chilli and vinegar and you’ve got a pickle that’s packed with superfoods. Of course if you’re not on any kind of quest to eliminate added sugar then by all means include it or consider replacing it with a natural sweetener like stevia.

Not a fan of Indian food? Don’t worry – this pickle also works well on sandwiches, with fish or as a dip with raw vegetables.

Before embarking on this recipe note that the limes, once chopped, need to be kept in salt and stirred regularly for two days. Only then do you add the spices and cook the limes.


  • 8 limes
  • 1 tbsp salt (I recommend Himalayan salt)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (or mustard seed oil)
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds (black or yellow)
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 2cm piece of fresh ginger, chopped finely
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 125g (3/4 cup) brown sugar – optional


  1. Using a sharp knife cut each lime into 8 wedges. Add the limes to a large bowl and evenly mix through the salt. Cover and store the bowl in a cool dry place for 2 days – stirring a couple of times each day.
  2. Prepare all of the other ingredients so you can move quickly at steps 3 and 4.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan on a medium heat and add the mustard seeds – cook briefly (30 seconds or until the seeds start to pop).
  4. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander and chilli. Cook and stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  5. Pour in the lime mixture, water, vinegar and optional sugar and bring to the boil. Once boiling reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until the consistency is thick. Stir during this time.
  6. Remove from the heat and allow the pickle to cool. Then transfer to sterilised jars.

Allow one week for the flavour to develop before consuming. This pickle then keeps for 6 months, or 2 months once opened (once open store in the fridge).

Indian lime pickle recipeStep 1 – Cut the limes into wedges & allow to rest sprinkled in salt

Indian lime pickle recipeStep 5 – Simmer with all of the ingredients for 15 minutes or so

Allow one week for the flavours to develop before consuming. This pickle then keeps for 6 months, or 2 months once opened (once open store in the fridge).

How to sterilise jars 

  • Wash jars and lids in warm soapy water and remove any original labels
  • Put the jars in a pan covered with water, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and boil for 10-15 minutes
  • Optional extra step – remove from the water and add the jars into the oven at 100C for 10-15 minutes

By Laura, Feast Wisely

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13 thoughts on “Indian lime pickle

  1. Hey there! This look SO good- love all of those spices! I’m wondering what you recommend eating this with. I LOVE to make my own condiments but I was having trouble envisioning what specific dishes I’d eat this with: maybe Indian-spiced roast chicken?

  2. gorgeous and yum! Funny how the cost of limes fluctuates so much. I love having them on hand at all times and this looks like a fun way to use them. Great condiment for so many thing.

  3. This looks delicious. I have made lime pickle a few times and it’s such a great accompaniment to Indian food. Limes are precious at the moment though, they’re charging $1.20 individually for them at my local supermarket at the moment (as has been mentioned in terms of costs fluctuating!). Great post

    • Good to see someone else has tried to make lime pickle – $1.20 is not as bad as I have seen them – I think I paid $3 each over winter on the rare occasion that I was desperate for a squeeze on Mexican dishes!

  4. Pingback: Craft Beer Onion Pickle | Feast Wisely

  5. Hi. Looks great, and easy. Came to it via your kasundi recipe. Am sugar-free and sort of vege paleo keto so your recipes hit the spot as bought pickles are a no-go due to oils and sugar. Am wondering if I can use frozen limes. They ooze when I thaw them. Guess that would be ok? Thank you!

    • Sorry for the late reply – so glad you found this via other recipes, as for frozen limes I assume this would be fine but I’m not sure how long fruit keeps preserved for after freezing….do let me know if you give it a go!

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