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5 from 2 votes

Nimbu Achar- No oil Indian Oil Pickle Recipe

No Oil indian lemon pickle made with lemons spices and salt. Super easy, few ingredient recipe.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time7 days
Total Time7 days 15 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 16 oz
Calories: 22kcal


  • 10 lemon medium sized
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ajwain carrom seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black pepeprcorn
  • 2 teaspoon red chilli flakes adjust taste
  • ½ teaspoon hing asafetida
  • 1.5 teaspoon kala namak rock salt
  • ½ cup lemon juice fresh squeezed
  • 2 tablespoon sugar use ⅓ to ½ cup if you want sweetish pickle


  • Place lemons in a colander and wash thoroughly under running water. Let drain in the colander over the kitchen sink for at least 15-20 minutes. Spread the limes on clean kitchen towels and let air dry. . Make sure that the limes are fully dry before you start cutting them.
  • Next, with clean hands, quarter or half the lemons (depends on the size you like) and remove as much seeds you can. Once cut, transfer on to a large glass dish, spread them in an even layer. Sprinkle salt and with clean, dry hands or spoon, mix to coat the lemons. Cover the glass dish with a cling wrap, poke few holes in the it & let sit in the full sun for 1-2 days. You will see that the lime wedges will have brown skin and they start to dry (slightly) & there is liquid at the bottom.
  • On the third day, grind the ajwain and black peppercorn. You can use coffee grinder or mortar pestle. Dont grind too fine or too coarse.
  • Sprinkle over the lemons along with hing, chilli flakes and kala namak. With clean hand or spoon, thoroughly mix everything together very well.
  • Pack the lemons into a sterilized jar (see post on how to sterilize). Dont stuff the lemons tightly, pack loosely. At the same time don't leave space at the top of the jar, this aids in bacterial formation which we dont want. If needed you can use two jars. We want air circulation in the jar during the fermentation process. 
    Pour the lemon juice to cover the lemons.
  • Place in a sunny spot for next 12-15 days to ferment. Time will depend on how hot and dry it is where you live. Shakes 1-2 times a day.
    You will see that as the days progress the skin of the limes starts softening & turning brown along with liquid at the bottom getting thicker than on the very first day.
  • Pickle will be ready in about two weeks. It gets better with time.
  • There is no need to refrigerate once the pickle is ready. Sun-cooked pickles keep well at room temperature. Store inside your kitchen cabinet. Always use a clean spoon to serve the pickles, they keep for months or years together.


  • Always use clean hands or dishes or spoons while making or serving the achar. This will make sure that there is no fungal formation.
  • Make sure that the dishes, pickling jars and your hands are dry. Wipe them to make sure because even a few drops of water will make achar go bad.


Calories: 22kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 441mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 84IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg