It was an exciting time when my first makrut limes ripened – I had quite a crop! Half of them were pickled in a South Indian style pickle, and half of them were pickled using a salt and lime/lemon juice method. It is very easy.
This is an Indian style pickle. We never tire of them, serving them with all Indian dishes, with plain rice or mixed rice, in salads, in dishes being baked, and in any other way we conceive of using them.
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Makrut (Kaffir) Lime Pickle – Salt and Lime Juice style with Spices
USE THIS SAME RECIPE FOR LIMES AND LEMONS. THE MAKRUT LIME PICKLE CAN BE A LITTLE ON THE BITTER SIDE. IF YOU ARE NOT USED TO THIS, USE LIMES, LEMONS OR CUMQUATS IN THE RECIPE.
Makrut Limes, quartered and seeds removed as best as you can
3 – 4 Tblspn sea salt
1 Indian bay leaf
2 dried chillies
2 tspn kashmiri chilli powder
0.5 – 1 tspn turmeric powder
0.5 tspn fennel seed
0.5 tspn cardamom seed
0.5 tspn coriander seed
0.5 tspn brown mustard seeds
lemon juice to cover – you can use lime juice also
Wash the limes, remove any seeds and cut into quarters. Layer them in a glass jar with the spices and salt. Put the bay leaf and chilli down the side of the jar. Press the lime pieces down lightly so the mixture is somewhat compact and sits level in the jar.
Pour a little of the lemon and/or lime juice over the limes. Sit on a sunny shelf for several days, turning the jar a few times each day to redistribute the salt and spices. A little juice will ooze from the limes during this time.
After several days, add additional lemon or lime juice to completely cover the limes, keeping at least a couple of centimetres of juice between the limes and the top of the jar. Make sure that there are no air bubbles in the jar – cover the jar and turn it over several times to help remove air bubbles.
Cover the jar tightly with a lid and leave it in cool dark place for two weeks, turning the jar each day. If the level of 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.
The remaining juice in the jar, when the pickles are finished, makes a wonderful dressing. I love to mix it with the oil from Punjabi Quince Pickles, and the result is simply amazing.
» Green chillies can be added.
Cumquat and Makrut Lime Seed Syrup
There are an awful lot of seeds in the limes. We don’t like to waste anything, and I had a couple of dozen cumquats I was looking to use. So I juiced the cumquats and then simmered the lime seeds with the pulp from the cumquats and water to cover, for about 30 mins. This extracted the pectin from the seeds and flavour from the pulp. Alternatively the seeds could have been soaked in water overnight.
After straining, the pectin liquid was added to the cumquat juice, brought to a simmer on the stove-top and sugar was added. It was simmered until almost set so that it could be used like a conserve, or drizzled into and over dishes. It tastes divine, quite a lot like marmalade – sweet, sour, with touch of bitter.