When Life Gives You Lemons … Spicy Indian Lemon Pickles

Indian lemon pickles are typically made with lemons, salt, spices and oil, and are used as a spicy condiment to accompany everything from rice to vegetables to chapatis and tortillas, to have with fish, chicken, and even to use as spreads in sandwiches. Lemon pickles are a great way to use not just the juice of the lemon but the entire lemon, skin and all.


There are many recipes for Indian lemon pickles; here I would like to share with you my friend Devi’s lemon pickle recipe. Devi’s lemon pickles are not too spicy, simple, and easy to make.

With green chilies, ginger, and garlic, a hint of spices and loads of lemons, this is a delicious lemon pickle that anyone can make at home.


Devi’s Lemon Pickle


  • 4 cups lemon cut into small pieces (1/2 inch size )
  • 1/4 cup ginger cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup garlic sliced into long pieces
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 cup plus more lemon juice if needed
  • 2 tbsp of green chili sliced long ( 1/8 cup ) or dried red chilies
  • 1/4 cup curry leaves


  • 3 tbsp of oil
  • 1 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp asafetida powder
  • 1 tsp of turmeric


  • Heat oil in a big deep pan. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When mustard seeds splutter, add asafetida and curry leaves.
  • Next add garlic, green chili, ginger and turmeric and mix well. Cook for a minute or two for all the wonderful aromas of ginger, garlic and curry leaves to come through.
  • Lastly add lemon pieces and salt and bring the mixture to one boil. Turn the stove off. Add lemon juice if needed and stir in. I didn’t need to use additional lemon juice as my Meyer lemons released a lot of juice already as they were cooking.
  • Cool the mixture completely. Store cooled lemon pickle in sterilized bottles and refrigerate.
  •  Lemon pickles are ready.

🍋🍋”When life gives your lemons, make lemon pickles”  🍋🍋 

13 thoughts on “When Life Gives You Lemons … Spicy Indian Lemon Pickles”

  1. Just reading your inspiring post, and looking at your photos, I can smell the wonderful smell of these pickles …I have to try this. I read an article before New Year about how to use the whole lemon, the idea was to freeze it and grate the whole lemon when its frozen. I tried it for a seafood dish I made for New Year. I like the idea of not wasting any part of a fruit.

    1. These pickles smell amazing when they are cooking. My friend Iya was over to help with chopping some lemons and she was ooing and aahing over the aromas of the spices, ginger and garlic. I hope you will try making it.

      I have never heard of freezing a lemon and then grating the whole thing? Sounds interesting. How did it work out for you? Curious. I will try this with a few lemons, thanks for the tip 👌🍋

      1. Just reading your description made my mouth water.. I love the combination of ginger and lemon. I often drink ginger/lemon tea with honey before I go to bed. I was very pleased with the freezing/grating lemon process.

          1. Let me know how it goes 😊 still my favorite thing to do with lemons would be lemon curd 😊 we often have scones for breakfast on Sundays. It’s kind of a tradition for my daughter and I to make them together. Lemon curd is one of our favorite toppings.

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