Lemon Pickle from Tamil Feasts

Shop Ingredients


1kg lemons, skin on and diced
200g salt (100g if you prefer less salty and also intend to eat within a week)

150ml vegetable oil
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp fenugreek

2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
Fresh rosemary sprig


After nearly 6 years of the most deliciously memorable meals, moments and  conversations, there are new adventures ahead for Niro, Nirma, Nigethan and Richman.  A heartfelt thanks for the beautiful food.  The unique enterprise of Tamil Feasts created such opportunities for us all, and those connections continue long after dishes are washed.   Wishing the whole team the best of luck in future endeavours.

Many regular diners will remember this much loved lemon pickle!  Stash a few jars away to mellow and they’ll be a welcome surprise for the future you.  Or share some with loved ones – foods always helps to stay connected.

Photograph by Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.


Lemon Pickle from Tamil Feasts

Place the lemons and salt in a pot, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cook on a low boil for 20 minutes.

In a separate pan, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds, heat until they pop.

Add the onions, garlic, fennel, cumin, chilli and fenugreek and cook for another few minutes until onion is soft.

Add the curry powder, turmeric and rosemary and cook for another minute, until the spices are aromatic.

Drain the lemons then add the spice mix, stir to combine and place into your favourite sterilised jars.

*Wait for at least 3-4 days before cracking one open – the longer the better (this will allow the salt to infuse the lemons and mellow the very salty taste).


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  1. Lemon Pickles sounds great; I am going to make some. Whilst it’s not stated in the Method, I assume that the lemons have the cooking water drained off before combining them with the spice mixture.

    1. Hey Tania, if bottled into sterilised jars well this should last years, but of course it’s not been tested because they’re so delicious – so please don’t hold us to a particular time line!

  2. Do you add water to the lemons and salt when boiling or is it just boiling in the lemon juice? If yes to water, how much? Thanks heaps in advance 🙂

    1. Yes just cover with water to boil and then drain before combining with the spices. Have clarified the method (thanks!), hope they are super delicious for you!