Nimbu ka achar

From Burden's Landing

Indian lime pickles.


From this recipe:

  • 8 medium-large limes cut into 1/8 pieces
  • 2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tsp nigella seeds (kalonji)
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 2 tbsp cayenne (or paprika or Kashmiri chili powder)
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp asafetida (hing)
  • 1/4 cup salt. Use more if you want saltier pickles.
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp mustard seeds


  1. Sterilize mason jar.
  2. Process limes, and remove seeds. Place in large bowl.
  3. Toast fenugreek, fennel, and nigella seeds until fragrant. Let cool, then grind into powder. Add to limes, mix well.
  4. Heat oil. When hot, add mustard seeds. Wait until they begin to sputter, then turn off the heat. Pour hot oil into the limes and spices. Mix thoroughly, then transfer to jar.
  5. Place jar in sun for 5-7 days for at least 6-8 hours / day. Shake the jar every day to ensure the sauce and spices move around.
  6. When the pickles are ready, refrigerate immediately.


November 14, 2021

Made a batch from this recipe using homegrown limes from Mom and Dad. Tripled the recipe. Didn't have Kashmiri peppers, so used sundried Chimayo chile instead. Used 1 1/4 cups of Himalayan pink salt, which I ground to a powder. Tasted very salty. Accidentally added only 1 1/2 cups of oil. The oil definitely makes it pasty, and it probably would have reduced the saltiness too, so we'll see how it turns out.

When I added the hot oil, the lime and spices gave off a wonderful aroma!

December 21, 2021

Noticed that the caps were super expanded (after having already burped them a few times over the past few weeks). The caps were tight, but managed to get them off. Lots of bubbles! Burped the jars, took out some of the overflow, and tasted. Delicious (but still too salty)! Plenty oily — crazy to think what this would be like with double the oil. Cleaned the jars, and put them in the refrigerator.