The first time I tasted Pickled Lemons while in India I was fascinated by the sour and spicy flavor of each bite. I had to bring the recipe home with me. I have made some slight modifications to the recipe to make it work for people who want to can the finished product. The flavor is still spot on for this side dish unique to Kerala State.
4 to 6 Tbsp. Eastern Pickle Powder (not to be confused with the pickle powder found in America)
1 tsp. Mustard Seeds
10 Garlic Cloves julienned
2 inch peice of Ginger peeled and julienned
3 Green Chilis
1 tsp. Asafoetida Powder
4-6 whole Curry Leaves (fresh is best if you can find them)
1 1/2 cup White Vinegar (If you are not canning you can use 1/2 cup of vinegar instead)
2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil or Sesame Oil
- There are two options to prepare the lemons. In India they cut the lemons in 6 peices, sprinkle with salt (about 1 to 2 Tbsp) and leave it in the sun for 3 days. Or you can steam whole lemons for 5-10 minutes. Do not let them split.
- Allow them to cool and slice them into 6 slices each. Make sure you keep all the lemon juice released while you cut them. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
- In a hot pan fry mustard seeds, chilly pepper, curry leaves, julienned garlic and ginger, and coconut or sesame seed oil and allow to sputter. Do not over cook, burn or brown.
- Turn down heat and add Eastern pickle powder and Asafoetida.
- Add lemons and cover them thoroughly with the spicy mixture.
- Add vinegar, bring to boil and allow to cool. If you are canning the lemons follow standard canning processes and can them while hot.
- If you do not can the lemons they are good in the refrigerator for 3 weeks.
- Serve with rice, buttered naan or any other Indian flat bread, or as a side dish with any Indian or Asian dish.