Sweet & Sour Lemon Pickle

Recipe By Saroj Velho

Indian food without pickles is incomplete and amongst the array of pickles this Sweet and Sour Lemon Pickle is a stand out favourite in my home! The whole lemons pickled in sugar syrup, chillies and spices all add the finishing touch to any meal and keeps for months.


  • 10 ripe lemons
  • 250 gm dates, chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup brown/cane sugar
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 6 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger, sliced
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tsp each ginger & garlic paste
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (1/2 chilli, 1/2 cayenne – a blend of colour, heat and taste)
  • 2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup malt vinegar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp tumeric powder
  • 1 tsp asafoetida powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder

Let’s Create

  1. Wash and thoroughly dry the lemons naturally or with a clean dry cloth.
  2. Cut the lemons into 1cm cube pieces. Add the salt and asafoetida to the lemon pieces and mix well. Store this at room temperature for 2 days.
  3. Heat half the oil in a pan and splutter mustard, fenugreek seeds and whole cloves. Add sliced ginger, and garlic pieces, and green chillie. Fry till it becomes golden brown. Add chopped dates. Cook until softened. Lower the flame and add Kashmiri chillie powder, turmeric powder, cumin and coriander and garam masala. Stir well, making sure that you don’t burn the masala.
  4. Add the lemons and combine everything well. Add salt, vinegar and sugar to lemon mix and let it boil for about 10 minutes on medium heat until the colour is light brown. Remove from heat and let it cool completely.
  5. Warm the remaining oil in another pan and cool it completely. Pour the cooled oil on top of the pickle.
  6. Store in an airtight container/jar at room temperature for a week and then refrigerate it.