Fermented Lime Pickle

I love sour, spicy, salty, and tangy things. If it tastes salty or vinegary, I’ll probably like it. Mustard, hot sauce, vinegar, pickles (and their juice!), pickled onions, kimchi, sauerkraut, you name it and I can’t get enough. An Indian restaurant in town makes very good lime pickle with limes and some other veggies and I devour it in two days following an order so I thought I’d try my own.

I used the fermented lime pickle recipe from India Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant, which we received as a wedding present. The first step in the process is to steam the limes and garlic and let it ferment for two days in the sun. I was a bit worried when I finished steaming the mixture because it reminded me of a faint basement scent…but I trusted in the process. I fermented mine for two days on the counter and then moved it to a windowsill near a radiator for a third as it didn’t seem changed enough. I stirred it each night.

Changes I’d make to stage one next time: add more lime juice and ensure that everything is covered in liquid; chop the limes up instead of the slicing called for in the recipe.

The second stage involves cooking more seasonings and fermenting in the sun again for two days. I used the windowsill for three and think that was the winner. Two days would probably work in the summer. The first photo is of the completed lime pickle before I decided to chop it further in a food processor, and the second photo is post-processing. It turned out spicy, tangy, strong, and addictive. I think it’s great on its own on a rice cake but also find it nice with some blackberry jam. Here’s the honey sweetened blackberry jam, or the sugar version. It’s also delicious mixed in with hummus.

Fermented Indian Lime Pickle condiment in a glass jar.

Homemade fermented Indian lime pickle on rice cakes with homemade garden blackberry jam.

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