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Instant Lemon Pickle

Instant Lemon Pickle

Shweta Arora
Instant Lemon Pickle is a quick and easy way of making this sweet, spicy and tangy Indian condiment.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Side
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4



  • 8 lemons (big variety found in US)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon red chilli powder (or to taste)
  • 2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ½ cup pickle masala (using store bought)
  • ¼ cup sugar (or as required)
  • ¼ cup oil (using canola)


  • Wash each lemon thoroughly and wipe dry.
  • Cut the top and the bottom off and slice into 8 pieces, gives approximately 5 cups chopped.
  • Deseed them, very important to prevent the pickle from tasting bitter.
  • Add 2 cups of water to the Instant pot stainless steel pot and place a trivet inside.
  • Transfer the chopped lemons to the stainless steel inserts/vessels that fits inside the instant pot, cover with a lid and place inside on the trivet.
  • Pressure cook on manual (or pressure cook)high with vent to sealing for 20 mins followed with Natural Pressure Release.
  • If using pressure cooker, allow 7-8 whistles and NPR.
  • While the lemons are still warm, add in all the spices (salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and pickle masala) and sugar, give it a good mix until well combined.
  • You will notice the juice getting released as you mix and forming a nice sauce. The sauce has a tendency to thicken as it cools.
  • In another pan, heat oil in a pan and allow it to cool completely before adding it to the pickle and mix well. This step is optional but highly recommend.
  • The Instant Lemon pickle is ready to be served!! At this point, the peel may have a slight bite but the more it sits the better it will taste!!


Tips and Important Notes
  • Lemons with thin skin or Meyer lemons work best for this recipe.
  • Thicker skinned lemons will take longer to cook and marinate. May also have slight bitter taste
  • Take time to deseed the lemons. The seeds can impart a bitter taste to the pickle and hence better to take those out.
  • Adjust sugar based on how bitter the lemon skin is. 
  • You can use white sugar, brown sugar or even jaggery for this pickle but the later two will change the color of this pickle (more towards brown).
  • Use your favorite pickle masala, either homemade or store-bought. I have used store-bought one for this recipe. There could be slight taste variations in the  store bought ones so adjust the salt and spice levels to your liking.
  • The cooked pickle peel might still have a bite to it at this point but it only gets better and soft as it ages!!
  • To prevent the pickle from spoiling, alway use a clean dry spoon every-time and keep it refrigerated.
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