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a jar of lime pickle
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5 from 1 vote

Umma's Lime Pickle without Water

Indian Lime pickle made with lime preserved in vinegar and salt. The pickle has no addition of water making it last longer in the shelf.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Resting Time30 d
Total Time30 d 40 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian
Keyword: lime pickle recipe
Servings: 1 ½ cup
Author: Famidha Ashraf


For the Lime preserve

  • 12 limes washed and completely dried
  • 10 to 12 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ cup white vinegar

For the pickle

  • cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2 pinch asafoetida hing
  • curry leaves
  • 6 green chillies chopped finely
  • 15 garlic cloves chopped finely
  • 2 inch ginger chopped finely
  • 1 ½ tablespoons red chilli powder adjust accordingly
  • ½ tablespoon kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • white vinegar or lime juice to adjust the consistency


Prepare the Lime Preserve

  • Thoroughly wash the limes and let them dry completely.
    12 limes
  • Quarter each lime, slicing them all the way down but leave the wedges attached at the end. What we want is whole lime with four wedges that are still attached.
  • Put one teaspoon of salt into the cavity of each lime.
    10 to 12 teaspoons salt
  • Now, place each lime into the clean jar. It is okay to press them in if there is a space constraint.
  • Let this salted lime sit in a dark place for 7 to 8 days. This step kick-starts the maceration process and softens the limes.
  • After 8 days the limes would have released enough juice. But to ensure they are submerged in juice, add some vinegar or more freshly squeezed lime juice and close the jar tightly.
    ¼ cup white vinegar
  • Let this sit at room temperature, preferably in a dark place for a minimum of 30 days or more. The more it sits, the softer the lime gets.

Prepare the Pickle

  • Heat coconut or sesame oil in a flat-bottomed wide saucepan on low to medium flame.
    ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • Add mustard seeds, let it splutter and then add fenugreek seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida. Saute until fragrant.
    1 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, 2 pinch asafoetida
  • Add the chopped green chillies, garlic and ginger. Saute the mixture until fragrant and ginger gets a bit soft and sticking.
    6 green chillies, 15 garlic cloves, 2 inch ginger
  • Add the spice powders and mix well.
    1 ½ tablespoons red chilli powder, ½ tablespoon kashmiri red chilli powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Add the preserved limes along with all the vinegar liquid from the bottle.
  • Now if you feel the liquid is not enough for the mixture to come to BOIL, then add some more vinegar and let the mixture come to a boil. Do a taste test and adjust the salt before you switch it off.
    white vinegar
  • Let it cool completely and transfer to a clean bottle with a dry spoon and store it away from moisture.
  • This pickle doesn't need refrigeration in any weather condition. I have tested in all seasons here. If you are not confident to leave it outside, you can keep it in the fridge and use it.