Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Preserved Limes

A few weeks ago it was sunny.
It was sunny enough to preserve limes on my kitchen table next to the window. Now it's cold and grey, but I have sunshine in a jar...Really intense, super spicy, sunshine.

My coworker Jan brought me a bag of Mexican limes and passed along this recipe. I'm not sure where the recipe is from, but I'll find out and give someone credit. I was skeptical about how well they'd be preserved, but after smelling and tasting them I can tell you that they're so acidic and salty that nothing could grow in there. They're amazing!

Edited to add:
By the way, this is intended to be eaten as a condiment. It's a traditional Indian accompaniment, but I imagine would also be good with Thai or even plain rice.

And I believe you could use any limes or lemons, but the little Mexican limes have very few, small seeds. I did take out any big seeds I saw. You can eat the rind and everything after these are done- the rind will be tender. Some folks like to take out the pulp from the middle before slicing the rind to use an an ingredient or garnish/condiment with dishes.

Lime wedges in cayenne pepper and mustard oil

Mexican limes
1 Tbs. sea salt
1/4 c. powdered cayenne
2 tsp. ground black mustard seeds
1 tsp. ground fenugreek seeds1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4 c. warmed mustard oil

1. Squeeze some of the juice from each of the halved limes into a clean
glass jar. Add limes and top with salt.

2. Screw lid shut and shake to disperse salt. Limes should be submerged in
their own juice; add more juice if needed.
3. Place jar in warm, sunny spot. Shake jar occasionally while it's in sun
to baste limes.

4. Bring jar indoors at night.

5. Continue until limes are tender enough to cut with a fork (usually 5-8

6. Add cayenne, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and turmeric; shake to
disperse. Set back in sun and heat for 2 more days, shaking occasionally andbringing in at night.

7. Pour mustard oil into jar; shake. Allow to rest for 4-6 hours.

8. Pickles are now ready to use. They can be stored on the countertop or in
the refrigerator.


Kuntrageous said...

my mouth is watering!

Karen said...

My favorite lime pickle. By the way, it is an indian food condiment. So it's from INDIA... :) I have some homemade from my grandma too!

Debra said...

Wow! I have gotta try me some indian food! This looks great.

aimee said...

I have to say those sound both repulsive and fascinating! You do love to pickle things!

The Voracious Vegan said...

WOW! This is a GREAT idea! Thank you so much for giving us the recipe, I can't wait to try it.

Catherine said...

Does one just eat these straight up? Or are they an ingredient?

Anonymous said...

Oh, man, I need some of that sunshine in a jar! It has been raining and cloudy here in MN for WAY too long!


kittee said...



Pearl said...

wow. that's a method and material and process I'd never heard of. great to try.