Curry-style Lemon Pickles in a Jar (ft. the Easiest Preserving Method)

Introduction: Curry-style Lemon Pickles in a Jar (ft. the Easiest Preserving Method)

Whenever I spot a mason jar, all I can think of is pickles. And today I'll be sharing one of my hottest recipes for lemon pickles with you guys!

The best part about this one is that you don't need any prior experience in canning or water bath as we're doing none of that; cheers to an almost hassle-free method of pickling!

These curried pickles are best paired with light vegetarian dishes--served in tiniest portions. I like to have mine with fried rice & plantains, chopped and added to mashed potatoes or vegetable soups, in hot-n-sour noodles...before I drift off into foodie land, let's get started.

You can watch the recipe in the above video (remember to turn on captions in your preferred language) or keep reading for more detailed steps!

Step 1: Gather the Supplies

I made this recipe from scratch, so no instant curry powders guys..

2 ½ kg lemons
50 grams chilli powder (use any pure red chili / paprika powder and adjust measurements as per the hotness. I'm using tikhalal chilli here)
250 g turmeric powder
300 g split mustard a.k.a mustard dal
50 g fenugreek seeds
2 tbsp asafetida
250 g salt
400 g cooking oil (use your favorite oil to infuse the pickles with distinct flavor)

Other supplies:

Glass Jar - I'm using a single mammoth jar but multiple tiny jars are also fine (in fact smaller ones are better to handle)
Mixing bowl & spoon
heavy bottom pan for roasting condiments
Pot of boiled water
Cutter or knife
Clean cloth to wipe lemons

Step 2: It's All in the Prepping

The only tip I can give is to keep everything super dry & extra clean-- your hands, spoons, mixing bowls and of course the glass jar! That's the secret to make your pickles last longer...but, you probably knew that.

Now, the prepping:

  • First we need to dry roast the salt & all condiments one after the other, except chili powder. Heat up a pan and roast everything on medium flame till it's hot enough to be untouchable & starts leaving a light aroma. Keep aside to cool down.

  • Before cutting the lemons in pieces, soak them in boiled water for 5 minutes. Drain the water and dry the lemons with a cloth till there's not a drop of water on them.

  • This time there was too much extra juice after cutting would've made the recipe liquidy (so much for keeping everything dry) so I separated & stored it away in a tiny jar for lemonade. Lemons are already juicy so you can do away with that extra liquid..also get rid of the seeds that fall off during cutting.

  • Lastly, heat the oil just short of boiling.

Step 3: Mixing

  • Take the lemon pieces in a large plate or mixing bowl and add all the roasted ingredients & chili powder.
  • Mix everything with clean hands till the lemon pieces are nicely coated with condiments.
  • Clean & dry your hands. Grab a large spoon and start pouring hot oil over the pickle mixture little by little..carefully. Give it a thorough mix and leave aside to cool down.

Step 4: JAR-ing

  • You can use any clean, dry glass jar/s really; no-lock, plastic lids also work fine.
  • Press and level the pickles neatly. If using no-lock jars, place a soft piece of cloth over the closed lid & wrap-tie as I do in the video (around 6:00)

Step 5: After

(pic.1 is from next afternoon, pic.2 is two weeks later)

  • Open the jar next day; an oily layer would've been formed on top--an assurance that you didn't mess up! But, in case you messed up a little and there's a dry spell in pickle land, just heat up a tablespoon or two of oil, let it cool down, pour inside the jar & shut it away as before.
  • The pickles are ready-to-eat within a month & keep getting better with age. If you're using one large jar (instead of multiple tiny ones) like me-- close it tight everytime you scoop out the pickles.
  • There needs to be some visible oil in the jar always. I assure this by avoiding scooping out the oil everytime I take some pickles out.
  • Kept in a cool, dry place, these can easily last for a year. I never witnessed them lasting past a few months though..they finish up real quick in our home.
So next time life gives you lemons forget the lemonade, just grab a mason jar & pickle 'em up!

P.S. if you got any queries don't hesitate to ask in the comments!

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    Shikha Kore
    Shikha Kore

    2 years ago

    Wow this looks very spicy! You say to use any favourite oil but I want to know which oil you used :-)


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks! But it's not that spicy..and you can always adjust the chilli as per your liking, it also depends on which type of chilli/paprika you use.

    The oil really changes the flavor of the pickles, so it's better to use the one you like :) i usually use coconut oil (because I love the flavor) or regular cooking oil like soyabean,etc. (as it has a neutral taste). BUT. This time I used sesame oil & no regrets. The smell is awesome and it has a mild nutty flavor too!

    Alex in NZ
    Alex in NZ

    2 years ago

    This looks awesome. Now if only my lemon tree would oblige with more fruit :-)


    Reply 2 years ago

    @Alex in NZ: here are a few easy tips I have found to be helpful:

    1. Put new mulch around the Lemon tree's roots. Don't know why but they like it
    2. Make sure it gets enough water
    3. Feed the tree with some citrus tree fertilizer
    4. Give it sunlight if you can by trimming trees/bushes that shade the tree.

    Since I applied these our tree went from producing 6-7 lemons at a time to dozens - all year long :)


    Reply 2 years ago

    Oh yes, lemon trees are super fond of sunlight! Thanks for dropping by :)


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you! So glad you like it and I hope the tree obliges..they can be moody sometimes :)