Sticky Lime Pickle

This sticky lime pickle is another one of my mum-in-laws signature pickle recipes. She calls it lime pickle however I had to name it the sticky lime pickle as it caramelises and becomes very sticky in consistency and texture as it matures over months.


This is the type of pickle which will take you a few days to make. It is the type of pickle you have to patiently wait for, for it to mature and prepare. But, I promise you, the wait is so worth it. I’m not really fond of sour foods but this is a pickle i don’t mind eating with some garlic pulao now and then…


Lime is a citrus fruit which is closely related to the lemon but has a very sour pulp, is bright greenish yellow in colour, it is round and has a thinner skin than that of a lemon. It is smaller in size than a lemon and much more fragrant and way more juicier. It is grown throughout the year mostly in tropical countries. During the summer season in India, nimbu as it is famously called in Hindi, is turned into a nice fresh lime soda or lime water to beat the heat. However, many households in india make nimbu ka achaar which simply means lime pickle out of these little babies.

Fresh limes from our garden.

The homemade pickle saga continues…

I’ve made this pickle once before with my mum-in-law and I love the way she does it… limes cut into wedges and those wedges cut into halves. Then, salted well and put in a plastic container… they are then covered with a lid and some weight kept on top… She mostly uses the fotor (grinding stone) as a weight on top.

The positive point about making a lime pickle is the availability of the same throughout the year especially in India and hence you can enjoy this pickle all year around. Sunny weather or rainy spells, nothing can stop you from making this pickle.

It is one of those types of achaars which are a great must have as part of a relish to accompany a normal mundane meal like rice with some dal or many other simple meal combinations like rice with curd.

In Goa, people also enjoy pickles like these with pez or canji which is simply a rice broth made with rice, water and salt.


Sticky Lime Pickle

Vania Cotta
This lime pickle is a very sweet tangy preserve for you to enjoy as a side with your meals.
Prep Time 3 d
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Resting Time 10 d
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 1 bottle


  • 20 nos Fresh Limes Cut into small pieces and seeds removed
  • ½ cup Salt to taste
  • ¾ cup Vinegar
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • ½ cup Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 pod Garlic finely chopped
  • 1 inch Ginger finely chopped


  • Cut each lime into wedges and then further each wedge into halves.
  • Deseed them and place the pieces into a plastic bowl with enough weight on top for almost 2-3 days.
  • Give it a mix everyday.
  • Keep the extracted juice to use at a later stage in the preparation.
  • In a vessel mix together vinegar, sugar and chilli powder. Adjust according to your preference.
  • Next add the lime pieces and stir properly.
  • Boil on a low flame until the skin softens. This step is very crucial in making this pickle and cannot be ignored.
  • Now add the garlic-ginger and the reserved juice from the limes.
  • Taste it and add more sugar if necessary.
  • Let it cook further until well caramelised.
  • Cool, bottle and keep aside to mature.


  • The lime pieces can be kept under weight also in a glass or ceramic bowl but never in a metal bowl as it can cause a reaction.
  • You can also use lemons to make this recipe. 
  • Store it in sterilized containers.
  • I prefer using Kashmiri chilli powder for this recipe as it gives the pickle a nice red colour but isn’t too spicy. 
  • The ready pickle could be stored outside in normal room temperature or refrigerated up to months.
Keyword homemade pickles, Lime pickle

Avoid using any water while making this or even using any oil. Make sure to serve it with a dry spoon or else the pickle will get spoilt. These are some very important things to note too.

Anyway, enjoy this recipe and do not forget to share you’re feed back about it on Instagram by using the hashtag #thehomemadepickleseries. Also do not forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Mature sticky lime pickle


11 Comments Add yours

  1. Joan says: I entered the wrong address by spelling yahoo wrong. Ugh

    1. You can do it again! Not a problem! 🌸

  2. Gary says:

    I’m guessing that the salt is mixed with the limes prior to pressing. Is this correct. Thanks!

    1. Yes yes!! I’ll update that..

  3. Suzanne Andrews says:

    Thanks,Gary my question also. I’m absolutely dying to try this recipe. And thank you for the explanation about the Kashmiri chilli powder. My mother in-law grew the limes so I am going to make the pickle for her. She loves spice but not too hot. Thank you Vania for a great recipe.

    1. Thank you so much Suzanne!! Let me know how to live it once you’ve tried out the recipe. Good luck!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Vania OMG so delicious. I was so bad and didn’t share at all. I’m going to make another batch. Great recipe!!!

  5. Suzanne Andrews says:

    PS sorry Anonymous is me. Suzanne 😃

Go ahead! Say something nice!! 😃

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