Hot Lime Pickle (Nimbu Achar)

This is mines favourite pickle, seriously hot, pungent and sour, it makes a wonderful kick ass accompaniment to all kinds of food and it also aids digestion. I made a massive jar of it, which should be matured ready for this month.

Image Lime pickle after 4 days cooking in the sun

Makes 1 litre (2 pint) jar  Keeps indefinitely

  • 750g limes (about 8 fat juicy thin skinned limes)
  • 50g (3 tbsp) sea salt
  • 1 tbsp each of fenugreek, yellow mustard seeds, brown mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dried bird chillis
  • 1 tbsp powdered turmeric
  • 1 tsp powdered hot chilli
  • 4 fresh green cayenne chillis
  • 200ml mustard oil
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida

Image Lime pieces mixed with salt and spices
Cut the limes each into 16 pieces, slit the chillis, remove the seeds and mix with the salt in a large bowl and set aside for 30 minutes. Dry roast the whole spices then grind to a fine powder add this powder along with the powdered chilli and turmeric to the bowl of limes & chilli and stir well. Heat the mustard oil until it is smoking add the asafoetida and immediately pour over the limes, stir well  to make sure everything is mixed and the limes are well coated in spices and oil. Pack into sterilised jars and leave to mature for 10-15 days before eating.

Image lime pickle mixture ready to pack into jars

Recipe source this recipe is based on Rafi Fernandez’s Nimbu Achar recipe in Cooking of Southern India, I’ve used a slightly different ratio of spices but otherwise I’ve followed her recipe.

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