InstantPot Sweet Lemon Pickle Recipe

Only 5 ingredients is what you need to make this unbelievably delicious InstantPot Sweet Lemon Pickle. This flavorful and piquant pickle is a popular Indian condiment.

Sour and tart lemons are cooked with sugar, red chili powder and salt to make this lip smacking yummy pickle. It’s an amalgamation of sour, tart, sweet taste with the hint of spice and salt in every bite.

Pickles popularly called as ” achars “ in Hindi. This preserved condiment is everyone’s favorite. Indian thali meal isn’t complete without adding a pickle to it.

Ingredients needed to make Instantpot Sweet Lemon pickle

RECIPE INSPIRATION

This sweet lemon pickle recipe is very similar to my childhood favorite Bedekar’s Lime Pickle (sweet) recipe.

If you grew up in and around Mumbai, Pune or Maharashtra area, you must have had a sweet spot for this delicious pickle too.

It is our favorite pickle to eat along the Varan Bhat ( lentil and rice ) , dahi bhat ( curd rice ) smeared on the toast and roti and just about any meal.

Even my kids devour it. My sister brings it every time she visits since she knows my kids love it. Needless to say, we tried to replicate the recipe at home, and it works like a charm.

A wooden spoon full of brown rustic lemon pickle.

INSTANT LEMON PICKLE

This pickle recipe gets done in about 40 minutes. You let it cool down and put it in refrigerator to age for a week. It further enhances the wonderful flavors.

If you were to compare it to traditional recipes, it’s vastly quicker. If you let the lemons brine in it’s own juice along with sugar, salt and spices, it can take up to 40-45 days to soften the rind and get marinated pickle.

Quick cooking the lemons reduces that time substantially thereby making it Instant pickle or pickle in the jiffy !

Traditionally, pickle making is popular summer month activity. Marinating and maturing the pickle in the sun can take up to several weeks if not months.

Pickles are made to preserve the seasonal produce be it mango, chilies or lemons. These pickles are left to “age”.

I remember my Grandma used to have stacks on pickle bottles with white clothes wrapped around in the back of the kitchen cabinet. She had exact idea when to bring out which bottles. They all were perfectly aged best tasting pickles.

Also some pickles are let to marinate in sunlight ( like lemon pickle) while others in dark airy place ( mango pickle)

A glass mason jar and glass bowl full of lemon pickle along with chili powder and fresh lemons in the background.

YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE BECAUSE

It is Quicker and Easier than Traditional Recipe.

This pickle recipe makes jelly like sweet and sour pickle.

This preservatives and artificial color free recipe is also vegan and gluten free.

HOW TO MAKE INSTANTPOT SWEET LEMON PICKLE

In the stackable container, add cut lemons, salt and sugar and chili powder.

Turn on the Instant Pot. Pour 1 cup water in the inner pot and place a trivet. Place lemons filled container on top of the trivet. Close the lid.

Set the vent to SEALING position. Press MANUAL  (High Pressure) for 15 minutes.

Once InstantPot finishes cooking, wait for pressure to release naturally. Once the silver pin drops,  open the lid.

Open lid and remove the container of lemons. Discard the hot water from inner pot. Do a taste test and adjust sugar or salt if needed.

Put the inner pot back in InstantPot and press SAUTE. Add cooked lemon mixture in the pot. Add roasted cumin powder. 

Stirring frequently,  continue to sauté for 4-5 minutes till the liquid reaches a jam like consistency. Turn off the Instant Pot. Let the mixture cool down completely before storing it in air tight container.

A picture collage showing 6 steps involved in making Instantpot Lemon Pickle

WHICH LEMONS ARE BEST TO MAKE PICKLE?

Use fresh and firm yellow lemons without any blemishes or brown spots on the outer skin.

In India, kagazi variety of lemons are used. They have paper thin skin. Indian lemons are smaller in size. Their rind tastes less bitter than the commonly found big lemons in US.

In US, I prefer to use Meyer Lemons ( variety of hybrid lemons )since their rind is thinner so the pickle is less likely to taste bitter.

Since we cook lemons with the skin on, I prefer to buy organic lemons to use in pickle making.

A set up of pickle station with glass mason jar , glass bowl and ceremic bowl full of lemon pickle.

Pro Tips for the Best Lemon Pickle

If possible,  allow the cooked pickle to marinate further up to a week. It tastes even better if you do, since the sweetness and tart marinate well together.

If you notice the lemons have thick rind, grate it in circular motion and take some of it off. You can use the grated rind in variety of dishes for flavoring. This will help lower the bitterness after cooking.

This pickle stays good for months in the refrigerator. Make sure to use a clean spoon during every use.

What to Serve with Sweet Lemon Pickle

This sweet lime pickle goes well with khichadi,  curries, vegetable biryani, rice, paratha and naan.

You can jazz up steamed basmati rice with pickle on the side. Same goes for stuffed flatbread called parathas.

Kids love it on toast. We toast some sourdough bread. Spread some ghee and then some pickle on top. It us purely blissful treat !

Since this pickle is sweet and tangy, it goes well with cheese and charcuterie boards too. It pairs well with soft cheeses and adds a fusion twist on crackers.

How to store Instant Pot Lemon Pickle

Store this pickle in dry, air-tight, preferably glass container. This pressure-cooked Lemon pickle stays good in the refrigerator for a few months.

Always use a clean dry spoon to scoop out the pickle. Also make sure to avoid any water contact. This helps prolong the shelf life and prevents cross contamination.

A glass mason jar and glass bowl full of lemon pickle along with chili powder and fresh lemons in the background.

SOME POPULAR CHUTNEY AND PICKLES TO MAKE

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A set up of pickle station with glass mason jar , glass bowl and ceremic bowl full of lemon pickle.

Instantpot Sweet Lemon Pickle Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This easy and quick Indian Pickle recipe makes lip smacking delicious Sweet Lemon Pickle. This sweet, spicy and tangy pickle pairs well with steamed basmati rice, paratha, roti or bread. Useful for Vrat or  Indian fasting food.

Instructions

Wash and dry 6 lemons. Trim their edges. Cut them in halves and then further into bite size pieces.  Try to remove as many lemon seeds as possible.

In the stackable container, add cut lemons, salt and sugar and chili powder.

Turn on the Instant Pot. Pour 1 cup water in the inner pot and place a
trivet. Place lemons filled container on top of the trivet. Close the lid.

Set the vent to SEALING position. Press MANUAL  (High Pressure) for 15
minutes.

Once InstantPot finishes cooking, wait for pressure to release naturally. 
Once the silver pin drops,  open the lid.

Open lid and remove the container of lemons. Discard the hot water from inner pot. Do a taste test and adjust sugar or salt if needed.

Put the inner pot back in InstantPot and press SAUTE. Add cooked lemon mixture in the pot. Add roasted cumin powder. 

Stirring frequently,  continue to sauté for 4-5 minutes till the liquid
reaches a jam like consistency. Turn off the Instant Pot.

Let the mixture cool down completely before storing it in air tight container.

For best results, let the pickle rest in the refrigerator for 4-5 days before
eating.

Notes

Since lemons vary widely in tart and sourness,  do a taste test to decide amount of sugar needed. More sour lemons will need more sugar to balance the taste.

I make it and refrigerate it for a week before using it. This aging times helps all the flavors to marinate with each other and intensify the flavors.

This pickle is also used in fasting ( vrat)

I do not add oil tempering to this pickle.  If you like it, make a separate tadka with warm oil, black mustard seeds, cumin and fennel seeds.  Add turmeric and asafetida.  Pour it over prepared lemon pickle mixture and mix well.

I prefer to use dark brown sugar or jaggery in this recipe. It brings rustic color and delicious flavor.  You can use regular sugar instead but pickle won't look as dark and marinated. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 40 Serving Size: 1 teaspoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 13Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 56mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 0g

Nutritional values are provided as a courtesy and the values are approximate. The values will change depending on the exact ingredients, measurements and brands used. As always, for specific health issues and dietary requirements please consult medical professional.

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1 thought on “InstantPot Sweet Lemon Pickle Recipe”

  1. This recipe looks incredible! I’ve been getting so into pickling lately, I’m excited to add this to my repertoire. Thank you for sharing!

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