Lemon And Dates Pickle

Hi, am back :). Happy to know that you liked Jose's bachelor salad recipe. Am also happy, but for another reason. For once, I didn't have to worry about the photo lighting, whether I've written the correct measurements in the recipe etc ;).

Anyways coming back to this recipe, this is the first pickle recipe in my blog. Some of you were asking me for pickle recipe since a long time. Am sorry for the delay, but as they say, its better late than never :). This is my mom -in -law's recipe and I absolutely love this pickle. I dont mind having it at any time of the day, I love it anytime, anywhere :). Mummy's pickles and cutlets are something that I always look forward in my India trip.

This recipe is a bit time consuming compared to the other recipes posted here but the result is worth it. So please go ahead and give it a try.

Hope you too will like it.

Here is the recipe…

Here is the recipe…

lemon pickle 300x200 1
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Lemon Pickle

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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, Kerala, South Indian
Servings: 5
Author: Maria Jose Martin


  • 10 Ripe lemon
  • 100 gms Dates chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 cup Sesame / gingely oil / nallenna
  • 2-3 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Mustard seed
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek seed (uluva)
  • 4 Green chilly (sliced)
  • 1 tbsp Ginger (sliced)
  • 1 tbsp Garlic (sliced)
  • 1 tsp Ginger and garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri chilly powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Asafoetida (kayam)
  • 1/4 cup Vinegar
  • Salt


  • Boil 4 cups of water with salt in a medium – big size saucepan. Remove from gas. Add lemon to it & stir well. Keep it covered for 10-15 minutes till the lemon skin becomes soft.
  • Once the skin becomes soft, strain the water completely. Dry the lemon with cloth or kitchen towel. Cut the lemon into 2-3 pieces. Add salt, half of the sugar (1- 1 1/2 tbsp)& asafoetida to the lemon pieces and mix well. Store this at room temperature for 3 days.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan & splutter mustard & fenugreek seeds. Add sliced ginger, garlic and green chilly. Fry till it becomes golden brown. Keep it aside. Add some more oil to the pan, when it becomes hot, add chopped dates. Cook till it becomes soft. keep that also aside. Add some more oil and when it becomes hot, add ginger garlic paste. When it becomes golden brown, add kashmiri chilly powder, turmeric powder and 1- 1 1/2 tbsp sugar (the powders should be added at lowest flame). Stir well till the gravy becomes dark red (make sure that you don't burn the masala). Add vinegar to this masala and let it boil.
  • Once the vinegar boils, add the previously sauted ginger, garlic, green chilly & dates to this. Mix well. Add the lemons stored at room temperature. Combine everything well. Check salt and add more, if needed. Remove from gas & let it cool completely. Store the pickle in airtight jars/containers.
  • Boil the remaining oil in another pan & cool it completely. Pour the cooled oil on top of the pickle stored in the container/jar.


For the best results, use the pickle after a week of making it. It allows the flavors to settle in. If you are planning to keep the pickle for a long time, I will recommend refrigerating it.
Tried this recipe? Let others know by…mentioning @mariasmenu or tagging #mariasmenu
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41 thoughts on “Lemon And Dates Pickle”

  1. Hi Maria! I love your recipes and I can’t wait to try this lemon pickle recipe. I have never tried making pickles. I have a doubt -is the lemon mentioned here small size like you get in Kerala? I am in USA and the lemon we get here is quite big. So should I reduce the number of lemons for the above recipe?

  2. hi maria,
    i had tried few of ur recipes lyk mutton stew, mutton curry, upma, kappa,kadala curry etc. evrything turned out delicious. thank u sooo soo much.. now i am goin to try this pickle recipe.

  3. Hai Maria
    Your willingness to share your kitchen secrets tells a lot about yor caring and sharing attitude. On your account we are having wonderful lemon pickle to go with our lunch and supper. Super dish even kids love it. With you we are truly enjoying our meals. Thanks for brightening up our home. Keep up the good work.
    Thank you

    • Hi Leetha,

      Thanks a ton for your kind and encouraging words, appreciate it very much :)

      It’s a pleasure to know that your family, especially the kids also enjoyed this..

      Best wishes,

  4. hey Maria,
    I am speechless…this is simply superb.
    I have no words to express my feeling. Its like, I have started to blindly believe ur recipes…the measurements are exact…If I follow exactly as what you say, I am now sure, I will have a wonderful dish in hand.

    I am a lazy cook and also, cannot find much time to spend in kitchen..Your site has helped me make tasty things inspite of all these limitations.

    And, I would promote that step by step photo recipes rather than a single photo recipe..It helps at many places.
    kudos..and continue the good work.


    • Hi Raji,

      Thank you very much dear! About the measurements, I dont know what to say… I just write down the measurements I use and share it here and I do hope that it works well for the readers too. So I’m really happy to know that you find the measurements easy to follow :)

      I’m trying my best to do step by step pics for the new recipes. Hope I could continue doing that..

      Take care,

  5. Hi Maria,

    Howz ur health now? Hope u r fine by God’s grace :) Tried the lemon pickle n it turned out really well….thanks for such perfect receipes. Gob bless u :))

    • Hi Nima,

      I’m feeling better dear but havent started checking mails regularly. It so happened that I checked mail today & saw your comment :). I got your other comment also, thanks a lot dear for your prayers.

      Great to know that you liked this pickle. I got a bottle of this from my mom in law yesterday :). I’m at my parents place now & my in laws visited me yesterday.

      Thanks again for trying the recipes and also for the comments :)


  6. Hi. Good afternoon. I got your webside from one of my friend Dhanya. since then I am hooked to the site. The receipes look so tempting & the presentation awesome. Thks so much.


    • Hi Vanita,

      Thank you so much for visiting my space and also for writing to me :) Please do try the recipes.

      Btw, pls convey my special thanks to your friend Dhanya too :)


  7. Hi Maria

    I would like to try your lemon pickle.
    Can I avoid sugar & dates in the pickle.
    I just can’t stand the taste of sweet in
    chilly hot dishes.


  8. Hi Maria,

    i tried your recipie and it came out superb .My husband and friends at office liked the pickle very much.keep up the good work.Hope to see sadya recipies soon

    • Hi Jasmin

      Thanks for trying out the recipe :) and am really glad that it came out well. Thanks for letting me know about it :)

      I will try to post some sadya recipes, am not an expert in traditional sadya dishes. However am trying to learn and if it comes out well, you can see it in the blog :)


    • Hi Maria,

      Hope you had a good weekend. Your Pazha Manga curry looks very yummy. I tried your lemon pickle and went half way. But after 4 days when I took it out to carry on with the process, the lemons on the top got fungus . Any idea why? Should I have kept it in the fridge.

      Microwave Brownie recipe below:


      1/2 cup butter
      1 cup sugar (May be too sweet. ¾ cup is enough if you prefer moderate sweetness)
      2 eggs
      1 teaspoon vanilla
      3/4 cup flour, un-sifted
      1/3 cup cocoa
      1/2 teaspoon baking powder
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      1/2 cup Cashew Nuts chopped (Optional)

      The procedure:

      Powder the sugar.
      Place butter in glass mixing bowl and microwave on HIGH for 20-30 seconds or until softened
      Using an egg beater, blend in the sugar.
      Beat egg white separately
      Add egg yolk, one at a time, blending well after each one is added. Add the ‘beaten’ egg white to this and mix / beat again.
      Add flour, cocoa, Vanilla, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Transfer this to a microwave dish put chopped cashew nuts on top.
      Bake in microwave on MEDIUM HIGH(600) for 4½ mts. (Stop in between and see if the cake has baked. You can see the cake rising up)
      Allow brownies to sit in microwave for 3-5 minutes after baking

      Note:- You can make the brownies in different textures by adjusting temp and time. Try on HIGH for 2 minutes as well. My husband likes wet cakes so I make at the above temp. You can try different temps and see which one you like. So to begin with pour the same mixture into 3 or 4 bowls and try diff temp. Make sure you take a deep bowl because it raises up to three times the original size.

      Serve hot with Ice Cream or you can eat it alone:

      Try this out and let me know the outcome. Hope you and your family will like it.


      • Hi Sindhu

        Thanks a lot for sending the recipe, I will try it and let you know :)

        Regarding the lemon pickle, I think its better to keep it in the fridge especially during summer season. Also if the lemons are not dried well, fungus will come. Sorry for not mentioning in the recipe about keeping it in the fridge during summer season.
        If you are using 10 limes, I think you can reduce the qty of dates to 1/2 – 3/4 cup.


  9. Hi Parvathy – am waiting to hear from you about the pickle, hope you liked it.

    Thanks Ann, Pooja, Asha , Tinu & Ria.

    Shabs – same thing happens to me too, happy to know that I’ve company :)

  10. Thats a lovely pic and nice presentation maria…..I feel not only me, but even the lime in the pic is drooling….It happens to me always wen i see achaar….my mouth will be full of water, enough to sail a ship:)…nice post….

      • I am a big-time fan of naaranga achaar.. I ve tried your recipe. Will taste it after a week and let u know the outcome.. Thanks for posting the recipe.


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