20 Famous Indian Food Dishes

16. Lime Pickle



  • 1k g (2 lbs) limes – stab holes in each lime and then cut into eight pieces
  • 125 g (1/3 cup) salt
  • 40 cloves of garlic – smashed
  • 50 g red chilli powder – or less if you don’t like spicy pickles
  • 150 ml (3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 30 grams (1/3 cup) white cumin seeds
  • 3 Tablespoons black mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon asafoetida



Place the limes in a bowl and add the salt, whole garlic cloves and red chilli powder. Mix well coating the limes and pressing down on them as you do. Retain the juices and refrigerate and then place the juiced lime mixture into a steamer and steam for about 15 minutes until they are quite soft. Transfer the lime mixture to a glass bowl and cover with a towel. Leave in the sun or a warm place for two days. Mix every eight hours to keep the limes coated with all the other ingredients.

At the end of day two, heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, throw in the black mustard seeds, cumin seeds and the asafoetida. The mustard seeds will begin to pop. When they do, pour the oil mixture over the limes and stir well. Pour in the reserved lime juices too. Cover again with the towel and allow to sit in the sun or a warm place for another two days.

At the end of two days scoop the lime pickle into a food processor and process to a chunky or smooth paste. Place this in a sterilised air tight container and let sit in a cool place for at least two weeks before serving.