Recipe Review

Padma Lakshmi’s Recipe for Lemon Pickle Is Mind-Blowingly Simple and Very Delicious

published Jul 18, 2022
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Padma Lakshmi during the 2018 Variety's Power Of Women: New York at Cipriani Wall Street on April 13, 2018 in New York City.
Credit: Getty Images/ Gonzalo Marroquin / Contributor

Get ready to pucker up! Padma Lakshmi, the New York Times best-selling author and creator of Taste the Nation on Hulu, shared her recipe for lemon pickle (also called achar or oorga) on her Instagram page and it’s one you’ll want to hop on as soon as you can. The Top Chef host shared that it’s a classic recipe for a puckering, hot pickle that she learned from her grandmother, Jima. 

“This is super easy to make, but it does require some planning ahead since the lemons take six months to pickle,” Lakshmi shared with viewers. “We are finally seasoning this lemon pickle that I’ve been marinating in sea salt for over six months. Basically, all I did was cut up lemons, put them in the jar, and add sea salt. Then two or three months ago, I added peppers and green chiles.”

“Now it’s time to season. We’re going to first dry roast the whole spices, then grind them in a coffee grinder I use just for spices,” she said in the post noting that the recipe makes around two cups.

Lakshmi also advises viewers who are adamant about their use of spices that surprisingly, a small coffee grinder is one of the best purchases you can make, but it should be one “that is just designated to spices.” She then demonstrates how first she roasts the whole spices, including turmeric and asafetida.

“Turn the lemons in the spices so that it mixes well. I’m sorry you can’t smell this because it’s kind of divine,” she then shares, clearly savoring how delectable the dish is for the sense of smell as well as taste. 

Lemon pickle is delicious with just about anything, according to Lakshmi, but her favorite way to enjoy it is “with a big bowl of thayir sadam (yogurt rice).” Yogurt rice is not hard to make either, and it can even be made with vegan yogurt

Lakshmi’s full recipe for lemon pickle is in the caption of her post and if you’re looking for more pickled recipe options, this one for pickled watermelon rinds is exceptionally tasty.