How to Make Pickled Cumquats

Thank goodness for food!

Thank goodness for food, I say.

It plays an amazing part in our life. First and foremost it nourishes our body, providing energy and nutrients for growth, maintenance and repair of our body.

It comforts us, makes us feel good about ourselves and about life.

It brings people together. Eating is a wonderful shared activity, providing community, friendship, family support.

Food deserves our respect, I say. And our thankfulness. Food breaks down barriers.

And for those of us who are never happier than when we have a kitchen knife in our hand, or wooden spoon, or whisk or frying pan, food brings and provides continual joy. How easy is it to express our art, our magic? Every home has a kitchen, a pan or two, a spoon to stir with. Where ever we go, we will find a kitchen and life will be good.

Cumquats (Kumquats) are in season at the moment. Some time ago I made a wonderfully divine Cumquat Marmalade. This year I found some gorgeous oval cumquats from the new Chinese stall at the Central Market and wondered whether I could pickle them, in the same way that lemons are pickled.

Cumquats Kumquats

They are divine! Easy to make, beautiful to look at, wonderful to taste and even better to share.

I wanted the pickled cumquats to have shades of spice as well, and so introduced Kalonji (Nigella), fennel, cardamom and coriander seed, as well as some cinnamon. You could also use black mustard seed, aniseed, star anise, even black pepper. The salt assists the flavour and helps to preserve the pickles.

Pickle spices

The inspiration for the Pickled Cumquats came from a couple of sources. Firstly, ehow, for the idea to make the pickle, and Monica’s chutney inspired the use of spices.

Sliced Cumquats

Pickled Cumquats

Source : inspired by ehow
Cuisine: Indian-style
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 0 mins
Serves: Use as an accompaniment to favourite dishes

500 g cumquats
lemon juice to cover – you can use lime juice also
3 Tblspn sea salt
1 stick cinnamon
1 tspn kalonji (Nigella seed)
1 tspn fennel seed
1 tspn cardamom seed
1 tspn coriander seed

Wash the cumquats, remove any seeds and cut into halves or quarters, depending on the size.

Layer the cumquat pieces in a glass jar with the cinnamon, spices and salt. Press the cumquats down lightly so the mixture is somewhat compact and sits level in the jar.

Pour the lemon and/or lime juice over the cumquats. Make sure the juice completely covers the cumquat pieces, and keep at least a couple of centimetres of space between the cumquats and the top of the jar. Make sure that there are no air bubbles in the jar – you can cover the jar and turn it over several times to help remove air bubbles.

Cover the jar tightly and leave it in cool dark place for two weeks, turning the jar each day. If the level of lemon juice goes down, top it up. It may go down as the salt and juice is absorbed by the fruit.

It should now be stored in the fridge. Use the fruit and the juice in your recipes and on your favourite foods.

In the jar


About Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.
This entry was posted in 10 Mid Spring, Cumquat, Preserves, Vegan, VEGETARIAN and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to How to Make Pickled Cumquats

  1. Pingback: Twitter Trackbacks for Pickled Cumquats: A recipe « A Life (Time) of Cooking [] on

  2. Fiona L says:

    Beautiful post, Ganga. x


  3. kathryn says:

    What a great idea Ganga, kind of like preserved lemons, but using cumquats and all those delicious spices. And don’t the cumquats look pretty, piled up in the jar.

    I’ve made cumquat marmalade before and also cooked them down into a sauce to go over ice-cream, but I do like your idea as well. Our local fruit and veg shop has them for $2 a bag at the moment, so think I might be doing some preserving later today.


  4. Kitty says:

    Ah! Awesome recipe. I wish this came along a few weeks ago! All of the cumquats on the tree in our backyard have started to soften and fall off. I made a huge amount of cumquat marmalade before then, though. ;)


  5. MsGourmet says:

    Who would have ever thought? What a fabulous idea!


  6. kel says:

    *goes and checks the cumquat tree* these just look so pretty that i want to make them just to view!


    • Ganga says:

      Oh, Kel, they are gorgeous! I am topping up with juice every day – finding that they are so tightly packed that little air pockets come loose from time to time. I do hope you try.


  7. Aparna says:

    They ceratinly look beautiful. Never seen cumquats before.


  8. Hi Ganga, I am in love with Kumquat recently, bought a Kumquat plant from Tuscany. I have picked the fruits and preserved with sea salt, this is the chinese way and need to be kept for years, until at least the salt is all dissolved before we consumed. We used it when we have bad sore throat.
    I recently found some kumquat available in a high end supermarket here in Switzerland and so happy and made another jar.
    If I see more, I will make a jar of your version, so I can enjoy earlier and in my cooking ! Thx for the great recipes.
    Love all your recent posts!!!


  9. Sean says:

    I’m the founder/moderator for Punk Domestics (, a community site for those of use obsessed with, er, interested in DIY food. It’s sort of like Tastespotting, but specific to the niche. I’d love for you to submit this to the site. Good stuff!


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