Lemon Pickle Recipe – South Indian Style

எலுமிச்சம்பழம்  ஊறுகாய் 

Lemon pickle / Elumichampazham Oorukkai (Tamil) is a basic and  important condiment available  in all Indian kitchen.  Making pickles is an affordable and practical method of preserving lemons for a  long term usage. Ingredients and method of making pickles may vary from one home to other home. This is my mom’s recipe. This is the first time I made this pickle and the outcome was really tasty and more flavorful. I always prefer homemade pickles because they are less in sodium, no preservatives added and also cost effective. It goes well with yogurt rice . If you get lemons then you should try this recipe, it is not only tastes yummy, also it cools the body and fight against infections.Also check this recipe Mango Pickle.


  • 4 Lemons, Big
  • 1/2 Tsp of Turmeric Powder
  • 3-4 Tsp of Salt

To Temper

  • 5 Tbsp of Indian Sesame Oil / Gingelly Oil
  • 2 Tsp of Mustard Seeds
  • 1 Tsp of Urad Dal
  • 1/4 Tsp of Hing / Asafoetida
  • 4 Tsp of Red Chilly Powder or Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp of Fenugreek powder, Dry Roasted


    • Wash and wipe the lemons with cloth /paper towel, there should not be any moisture on the lemons. Cut them into big pieces (1 lemon = 8 pieces) and remove the seeds.
    • In a bowl, mix the chopped lemons, turmeric powder and salt, with a spoon.
    • Put this mixed lemons in a clean, sterilized glass bottles, or ceramic bowl with a lid and leave it aside for 5 -7 days. During this period, place the glass bottle in hot sun for 1 hour daily, also stir the mixture daily to avoid fungal contamination because by this time, lemons would oozes out lot of juices, by dissolving the salt, changes color and the skin becomes so soft.
    • After 7 days, we need to add the tempering to the lemon mixture.
    • For that, heat a pan/skillet, dry roast 1/2 tsp of fenugreek until it changes color. Powder it in a spice grinder or mortar & pestle.
    • Heat oil in a pan /skillet, add mustard seeds, urad dal, asafoetida, after it splutter, add the lemon mixture and red chilly powder, mix well with the temperings and saut’e for 2 mins. Finally add the roasted fenugreek powder, mix well and turn off the stove. Let it cool down for 1 hour and then transfer this pickle to the glass jar.
    • Homemade Lemon pickle is ready to enjoy with curd (yogurt) rice or any upma or any variety rice dishes.



    • Adjust the amount of salt and red chilly powder according to your taste.
    • You can also use coarse kosher salt instead of using the normal fine salt.
    • More oil you add, the more the shelf life of the pickle.
    • You can also add roasted mustard seed powder along with roasted fenugreek powder for a different twist to the taste.


 Health Benefits of Lemon

    • Lemon being a citrus fruit, fights against infection.
    • Rich in antioxidants.
    • Lemon lowers blood pressure and increases the levels of HDL (good cholesterol) .
    • Lemon is found to be anti-carcinogenic.
    • Lemon juice is said to give a glow to the skin.