facebook twitter pinterest youtube googleplus email rss instagram


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Instant lemon pickle (elumichai oorugai) is made by pressure cooking lemon and seasoning it with spices, instead of marinating lemon in salt and wait for few days. This method is usually done in marriages as this can be done instantly. Lemon pickle is my favorite among the  pickles. Even mango pickle comes next. I love neer nellikkai and vadumanga too but when it comes to these sort of thick pickles it is lemon pickle. Ever since I got married, mom will make lemon pickle and mango thokku and pass it to me. I make mango thokku often as it is easy as well as Vj’s favorite. But this is the first time I prepared lemon pickle. This can be prepared with very less oil. So it has to be kept in fridge and consumed in a month. But since we make this very less, it will not be a problem. Few days back asked mom how to make lemon pickle as I got sick and could not eat anything properly. I felt like having mom’s lemon pickle, so decided to make my own.
We are not fan of store bought pickles, the flavours we make at home is the best and cant even compare both. Usually make quicky and easy thokku like mango thokku, tomato thokku or neer nellikkai. Once I tried a brand from Malaysia called Lingam in which the lemon pickle was so very similar to homemade ones. Sadly it is not available these days. I thought Vj wont be liking lemon pickle that much, but when he had yesterday, he told he liked it very much. Since this is very easy to make, I guess can make often too here after.

Instant lemon pickle recipe

Recipe Cuisine: Indian  |  Recipe Category: Condiment
Prep Time: 15 mins    |  Cook time: 20 mins   Makes: 1 & 1/4 cup approx

Click here for cup measurements

Click here to read elumichai oorugai in tamil


Lemon – 10

Red chilli, long variety – 20

Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp

Turmeric- 1/2 tsp

Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp (roast and powder)

Salt – As needed

To temper

Sesame oil – 1 tbsp

Mustard – 1/2 tsp

Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp

How to make lemon pickle method

  1. Pierce the lemon with a knife or any sharp item and pressure cook it for 2 whistles with half the salt and very less water.
  2. instant-lemon-pickle-step-1
  3. Once done, cool down and chop the lemon. Remove any seeds in it.
  4. instant-lemon-pickle-step-2
  5. Powder red chillies coarsely. I like it coarse just like my mom does, but if you want you can powder finely too.
  6. instant-lemon-pickle-step-3
  7. Heat kadai with oil and temper with mustard and asafoetida. Add the chopped lemon along with the pulp/juice if any.
  8. `instant-lemon-pickle-step-4
  9. Add required salt, turmeric, red chilli powder, asafoetida, fenugreek seeds powder. Mix to coat the lemon. Just cook until the excess moisture goes off.
  10. instant-lemon-pickle-step-5


  • The cookbook I have says for a lemon, its 2 long red chillies or 1 tsp red chilli powder (if store bought).
  • The salt should be same as the red chilli powder (only if store bought is used). And I use rock salt (kal uppu)
  • I have fenugreek seeds (vendhayam/ methi seeds) roasted and powdered kept ready, so used it.
  • Use bright red chillies for more attractive colour. The one I used was dark in colour.
  • Adding asafoetida (Perungayam/ hing) half while tempering and half as such gives wonderful flavour.
  • Let the red chilli be crisp so that it gets powdered easily. So you can sun dry it.
  • My mom says, elders roast the red chillies, asafoetida (katti perungayam) and methi seeds and powder it, add to the pickle. But I like raw red chilli flavour a lot.
  • Keep refrigerated always.

Serve with Curd rice (thayir sadam) the best. I like pickles only with curd rice, but many like it with rasam, parathas, upmas too.



  1. Thanks so much for the recipe,looks very interesting

  2. Very interesting recipe...will try it for sure..How long it will stay?

    1. A month in fridge. Should always be refrigerated.

  3. I tried now as i was having all things ready in my hand. Lemon is cooked but thuvarpu was very high.what could have been the mistake?

    1. Hope you cooked with salt. If you taste as such it will be like that, but if you add enough salt and red chilli it will be balanced. Also give a day standing time. If it is still bitter, try adding more salt and red chilli and add 1/4 tsp sugar or 1/2 tsp jaggery. Sautee in oil again it will be alright

  4. Hi raks, i follow ur recipes. Can we chop the lemon and then cook for two whistles.because it will be difficult to cut lemon after cooking. Any specific reason to pierce and cook lemon.

    1. Yes you can just give a whistle or two, I was afraid we will loose more pulp if we cut and then cook. My mom asked to pierce, so i followed the same blindly.

  5. Won't cooking lemon make it bitter?

    1. If we salt and spice it right, it wont be bitter.

  6. Hi raks . Can we add the remaining water and juice in the cooker while cooking the pickle..

  7. Hi raks,
    The pickle I prepared tastes very very bitter. I have added enough salt and chilli but it still tastes very bitter.

    1. Laxmi, please add lots of chilli and salt, for pickles it has to be more. My mom makes this pickle same way for years and never turns bitter.


Thank you for visiting my space and leaving comments,your comments are really appreciated...
I am currently away, might take a bit while to respond to your query, but will sure do when I find time.