Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Lemon Pickle | Nimbu ka Achaar in Instant Pot

Sweet 'n' Spicy Lemon Pickle | Nimbu ka achaar by Spice Cravings. Sweet-n-Spicy-lemon pickle, or 'Nimbu ka Achaar' is a super popular condiment in India. This quick & easy version takes 30 minutes using the Instant Pot. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian

Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Lemon Pickle or lemon preserves are perhaps one of the most popular condiments in Indian cuisine.  It’s popularly known as ‘Nimbu ka Achaar’ in the north.  There are endless variations of this pickle. This is my father-in-law’s super-hit family recipe, that he inherited from his grandmother!

It goes great with lentils, curries, biryani, rice pilaf, stuffed flatbreads, naan.  Recently, I served it with my cheese platter, along with crackers and creamy brie- it was such a hit and so many of my friends asked me for this recipe.  It is now a staple on my cheese plate appetizer!

Sweet 'n' Spicy Lemon Pickle | Nimbu ka achaar by Spice Cravings. Sweet-n-Spicy-lemon pickle, or 'Nimbu ka Achaar' is a super popular condiment in India. This quick & easy version takes 30 minutes using the Instant Pot. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian

Typically, lemon pickle is made in summer by brining lemons in their own juice, salt and a blend of spices, and sugar in some variations.  The pickle is then matured in sunlight and this process takes a few weeks.  This is my version, except this one got ready in 30 minutes!

Best Results:

This pickle tastes even more delicious as it ages.  I make it and refrigerate it for a couple of weeks before taking it out.  It stays good in the refrigerator for a few months at least!

In this video, I made this sweet ‘n’ spicy lemon pickle in my programmable pressure cooker, Instant Pot, but it can be made in a stove-top pressure cooker too by following the same directions.

Alternative Spice:

If you don’t have Panch Poran spice blend, you can substitute with 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon methi seeds (fenugreek)  and 1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds instead.

If you like your pickle more spicy and/or sweet, you can always add more during the sauté process.

Variation using Meyer Lemons:

Recently, I picked up a bag of gorgeous Meyer Lemons from Trader Joe’s.  I decided to try this recipe using those instead.  But, I made one change though.  Since I was out of Panch phoran, so I used a combination of mustard seeds, fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds instead.  Meyer lemons are sweeter, juicier and have a thinner peel as compared to regular lemons.  So, the pickle is naturally more sweeter, which was a plus ūüôā  Since the peel was thinner and there was more juice and fibers in the lemon, the pickle is more like a chunky preserve, as you can see from the picture.  This pickle with Meyer Lemons was a bigger hit in my house.  My kids just loved it- they smeared it all over their Parantha (stuffed flat-bread) and enjoyed it! A keeper for us!

Sweet 'n' Spicy Lemon Pickle | Nimbu ka achaar by Spice Cravings. Sweet-n-Spicy-lemon pickle, or 'Nimbu ka Achaar' is a super popular condiment in India. This quick & easy version takes 30 minutes using the Instant Pot. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian

PIN IT on Pinterest

Sweet 'n' Spicy Lemon Pickle | Nimbu ka achaar by Spice Cravings. Sweet-n-Spicy-lemon pickle, or 'Nimbu ka Achaar' is a super popular condiment in India. This quick & easy version takes 30 minutes using the Instant Pot. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian

Rate this Recipe

If you tried this recipe, please give a star ★ rating.

0 from 0 votes
Sweet 'n' Spicy Lemon Pickle | Nimbu ka achaar by Spice Cravings. Sweet-n-Spicy-lemon pickle, or 'Nimbu ka Achaar' is a super popular condiment in India. This quick & easy version takes 30 minutes using the Instant Pot. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian
Sweet 'n' Spicy Lemon Pickle | Nimbu ka Achaar in Instant Pot
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 37 kcal
Author: Spice Cravings
Ingredients
  • 6 medium lemons
Roasting Spice mix- (see instructions on how to roast and grind)
For Tempering
Instructions
  1. Wash and dry 6 lemons. Turn on the Instant Pot. Pour 1 cup water in the inner pot and place a trivet. Place lemons in a bowl and place on top of the trivet. Close the lid. Set the vent to Sealing position. Hit Manual (High Pressure) for 15 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, roast the spice blend for grinding.  Place spices listed under the "Roasting spices list" on a microwave safe plate and heat in microwave for 3 minutes in 30 second increments, stirring in between. Cool for 5 minutes and grind to a fine powder in a spice blender.

  3. Wait for natural pressure release from the Instant Pot. Open lid and remove the lemons. Cut in halves and remove seeds. Turn on the Instant Pot on sauté mode and let it heat up, about 30 seconds. Add oil and mustard seeds. When mustard seeds begin to splutter, add lemons, salt, sugar and all spices. Stir well.
  4. Continue to sauté for 4-5 minutes till the liquid reaches a jam like consistency. Turn off the Instant Pot. For best results, let the pickle rest in the refrigerator for 4-5 days before eating.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

You can substitute the spice blend with 1 tablespoon panch puran (Indian 5 spice blend).

If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.

 

Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition Facts
Sweet 'n' Spicy Lemon Pickle | Nimbu ka Achaar in Instant Pot
Amount Per Serving
Calories 37 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Sodium 195mg 8%
Potassium 7mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 6g 2%
Sugars 5g
Vitamin A 0.7%
Vitamin C 0.3%
Calcium 0.7%
Iron 1.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Never miss a recipe

Spice Cravings is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

You Might Also Like

4 Comments

  • Reply
    Bobby
    February 11, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    Just tried to make some and it didn’t turn out well. The 15mins on high seem too long, so I did 10 mins and even then my meyer lemons are more mushier than I like. Somehow the sauce is also bitter. Tried to improvise my adding more brown sugar. Next time probably I will skip the instapot and just stir fry sliced lemons in the spices, sauce etc.

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      February 11, 2018 at 2:21 pm

      Hi Bobby, Sorry to hear that it didn’t turn out well for you. I make this pickle on a regular basis and the only time I had a slight bitterness to the sauce, was when I left the seeds in before saut√©ing – was that the case with you by any chance? Another reason for bitterness could be that the peel wasn’t cooked enough. Most citrus will turn to mush if you pressure cook it, but that is what gives this pickle a jam-like consistency. Would love to hear how your experience is with the stir-fry method.

    • Reply
      Bobby
      February 15, 2018 at 5:47 pm

      Turned out my lemons were off or something. Took some juice from left over lemon and it had bitter taste. After 3-4 days in the fridge, the skin that I had thought was too mushy seems perfect. Wife is loving it.i am going to try again with fresh batch of Meyer lemons.

      • Reply
        aneeshasg
        February 15, 2018 at 9:00 pm

        Oh that is so good to hear! I am so glad that it worked out for you! Thanks for the update- appreciate it ūüôā

    Leave a Reply

    Share8
    Pin21
    Tweet
    Reddit
    Share
    29 Shares