Chilli lime pickle

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    1 x 1 litre


Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

One of my go-to condiments, this pickle is sour, tangy and really tasty, and enjoyed across the entire subcontinent, in many similar versions. A tiny dollop in a mouthful of curry just brightens your day. Try mixing it with some yoghurt and fresh chilli.

Preparation 25 minutes + 5โ€“6 days pickling


  • 3 tablespoons brown mustard seeds
  • 10 large limes
  • 200 g (7 oz) Indian green chillies
  • 1ยฝ teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 25 g (1 oz) coarse sea salt
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) vegetable oil


Grind the mustard seeds to a coarse powder, using a mortar and pestle. Cut each of the limes into eight pieces. Slit the chillies and cut them into 2 cm (ยพ inch) pieces.

Toss the ground mustard seeds in a bowl with the turmeric, salt and chilli and lime pieces, mixing until well combined.

Transfer the mixture to a sterilised glass bottle or earthenware jar. Pour the vegetable oil on top and shake the bottle or jar well. Cover with muslin (cheesecloth) and secure with kitchen string.

Keep in a cool dark place with good air flow, stirring the contents of the jar at least once a day for the first few days.

Leave to pickle for 5โ€“6 days before using. Once opened, the pickle will keep in the fridge indefinitely โ€” although itโ€™s so tasty it probably wonโ€™t last very long at all!