Before my lime crop finishes I thought I ought to make a batch of lime pickle. Over the years I’ve tried various recipes but this one is my, and all my friends, favourite. It’s salt, sweet, citrusy tangy and packs a picante punch, a fabulous accompaniment to any curry.
This makes 10 jars of 270ml
2 kilos limes – small ones if you can get them
100 grams fresh ginger
240 grams sea salt
500 grams white sugar
2 heaped teaspoons fenugreek seeds
1 tablespoon star anise
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
3 large green chillis
Wash the limes, cut them into quarters and remove any seeds. Put them into a large bowl.
Peel the ginger and cut into tiny cubes. Add to the limes.
Add the salt to the limes and ginger and mix well. Leave to marinate for 24 hours.
The next day drain the liquid from the limes into a saucepan and add the sugar. Heat slowly to dissolve the sugar stirring from time to time.
Grind the fenugreek and star anise in a coffee grinder or pound in a pestle and mortar. You are not aiming for a powder, more just to break the spices into smaller pieces. Add to the drained limes.
In a thick based frying pan heat the mustard seeds until they begin to pop. Add to the limes.
Chop the chillis small, either in a processor or by hand. Add to the limes.
Mix the limes and spices very well.
Pack the limes into clean jars and then fill up with the hot salt and sugar syrup.
Seal and leave in a cool dark place for 4 weeks for the pickle to mature.