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How to make Kerala style Lemon Pickle ( Naranga Achar) : Pickle recipe

Updated on October 9, 2013

Lemon Pickle is one of the most favorite pickles of south India. Lemon Pickle is easy to make and can be kept for years. Lemon pickle is at its best, as it becomes old. Pickling is an ancient food- preservation technique. In Kerala, we name it as “Naranga Achar”, where Naranga means Lemon and Achar means pickle. Usually in Kerala, during supper, most of us can go with Rice soup (named Kanji, here in Kerala), lemon pickle and Pappad. Lemon Pickle is usually given to us during times of high fever, as it tastes better then, as our tongue tastes bitter during those high temperatures. Here in I’m gone to explain the steps to prepare Kerala Lemon Pickle.

Naranga Achar ( Lemon Pickle)
Naranga Achar ( Lemon Pickle) | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour 30 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 2 hours
Yields: 15 Lemon to make a jar of lemon pickle


  • 10-15 in number Lemon, Need to steam the same for 5-10 minutes using a steamer
  • One Inch Ginger, Remove the skin, Chop and keep aside
  • 2 pods Garlic, Remove the skin and keep aside
  • 10 Green Chilly or 2 Table Spoon Chilly Powder, If Green Chilly , cut each along lengthwise
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 2 tablespoon Gingelly Oil, Usually Gingelly Oil is used for the preparation of most of the traditional pickles in kerala
  • 3/4 teaspoon Mustard Seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon Asafoitida powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fenugreek powder
  • 3 tablespoon Vinegar
  • 2-3 stem Curry Leaves
  • 2 tablespoon Salt

Clicks through preparation of Lemon Pickle

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Lemon, steamed and mixed with SaltGreen Chilly, split along the lengthGarlicGinger, ChoppedGinger, Garlic and Green ChillyHeat Oil and Put Mustard SeedsAdd Curry LeavesAdd Curry LeavesAdd Ginger and GarlicAdd Green ChillyPut Turmeric Powder to the Lemon-salt mixture, just before cookingAdd Lemon to Cooking MixtureFenugreek PowderAsafoitida  PowderBlend the mixtureAdd VinegarAllow it to Boil Once after adding vinegarLemon Pickle is ready
Lemon, steamed and mixed with Salt
Lemon, steamed and mixed with Salt | Source
Green Chilly, split along the length
Green Chilly, split along the length | Source
Garlic | Source
Ginger, Chopped
Ginger, Chopped | Source
Ginger, Garlic and Green Chilly
Ginger, Garlic and Green Chilly | Source
Heat Oil and Put Mustard Seeds
Heat Oil and Put Mustard Seeds | Source
Add Curry Leaves
Add Curry Leaves | Source
Add Curry Leaves
Add Curry Leaves | Source
Add Ginger and Garlic
Add Ginger and Garlic | Source
Add Green Chilly
Add Green Chilly | Source
Put Turmeric Powder to the Lemon-salt mixture, just before cooking
Put Turmeric Powder to the Lemon-salt mixture, just before cooking | Source
Add Lemon to Cooking Mixture
Add Lemon to Cooking Mixture | Source
Fenugreek Powder
Fenugreek Powder | Source
Asafoitida  Powder
Asafoitida Powder | Source
Blend the mixture
Blend the mixture | Source
Add Vinegar
Add Vinegar | Source
Allow it to Boil Once after adding vinegar
Allow it to Boil Once after adding vinegar | Source
Lemon Pickle is ready
Lemon Pickle is ready | Source

Preparations & Cooking

  1. Wash and clean Lemon and keep in a steamer, and once the steam comes, keep it for 5-10 minutes and off the steamer.
  2. Allow lemon to cool; by that time, chop the Ginger and keep aside. Remove the skin of Garlic and keep aside.
  3. If you need green colored pickle - go for Green Chillies, cut along the length way. Or else you can go for Chilly powder if you need Red colored Pickle
  4. Now get the cooled pickle, cut into 4 and add salt to it and keep aside. Add the turmeric powder on top.
  5. Heat the Frying Pan, add Gingelly Oil to the same and allow it to heat
  6. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.
  7. To the same add Curry Leaves
  8. Now add the chopped ginger, garlic and green chilly/ Chilly Powder.
  9. Let it become brown
  10. Later add the Lemon to it and add the Fenugreek and Asafoitida powder to the same ; allow the same to boil
  11. Towards the end, add vinegar and allow it to boil once, now off the fire ; LEMON PICKLE IS READY!!!
  12. Once cooled, keep it airtight glass Jar. The real taste, comes as it grows older.
4 stars from 6 ratings of Lemon Pickle Recipe (Naranga Achar)



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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Gud one

    • deepateresa profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Trivandrum, Kerala,India

      Lemon and Mango pickles are the common one used here in kerala. Then comes pickles with gooseberry,bittergaurd etc. A pickle is an inevitable side dish during lunch time, for each and every malayalees. We do make lots of pickles , if our relatives, kids etc goes abroad for studies, jobs etc and pickles are a symbol of being homesick. Thanks everybody for the comments.

    • urmilashukla23 profile image


      8 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      Thanks for posting this recipe. Voted up!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Good one! :)

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      8 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      This sounds like an easy pickle to do. I have never made pickles, perhaps I should start with this unique recipe. Thanks!

    • anusujith profile image

      Anoop Aravind A 

      8 years ago from Nilambur, Kerala, India

      Good to see the traditional Kerala lemon Pickle. Thank you sharing Deepa. Expecting more recipes from you.


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