Lemon Dates Pickle/ Sweet and Sour Naranga Achar

Lemon Dates pickle is vibrant and colorful, with complex flavours that is quite delicious. This delectable pairing of Lemon and Dates helps you enjoy the pickle without burning your tongue. Yup! You must be aware of the spice level of Kerala style pickle or Indian Pickle for that matter! Dates and Lime Pickle is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy flavours. The sweetness from the dates, hits you first, followed by the perfect amount of spiciness to pep up your meal.

Although, I like pickles very much, it is not a regular item in my diet, as it is not very healthy and contains high quantities of oil, salt and spice. However, I do enjoy Lime pickle/ Naranga Achar with Biriyani; Pavakka or Mango pickle with Kanji, Payar and Chammanthi or Curd rice.

Lemon Dates Pickle, also known as sweet and sour pickle, is quite delicious with sweet and savoury flavours. Dates/ Eenthapazham provides the richness and sweetness to the pickle, while Lemon/ Naranga delivers the punch. In Kerala, Pickles are part of daily menu, savoured with rice, Biriyani or with curd rice and Parathas. Keralites make pickles out of almost everything, like Mango, Lime, Bitter Gourd/ Pavakka, Fish pickle, Beef Pickle etc.

You might also like Veppilakkatti/ Chammanthipodi recipe, a great accompaniment for rice. If you like spicy dishes, check my spicy dishes like Alleppey Fish Curry, Kottayam Fish curry, Andhra Prawns Masala, Chicken Masala, Spicy fish Masala, Chilli chicken, Beef curry etc.

For now, here is the recipe for sweet and sour Lemon Dates Pickle. I am sure you will relish this heady combination of sweet and sour flavours. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Lime Dates Pickle:

Lime/ Naranga: 10 nos. (500 gms approx..)
Dates: 25 pcs
Fenugreek seeds (Uluva): ½ tsp (roasted and powdered)
Hing/ Asafoetida powder: ½ tsp
Ginger: 2” piece
Garlic: 20 cloves
Green chili: 6-8 pcs
Curry leaves: 5 sprigs
Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp
Kashmiri Chili Powder: 4 tbsp
Gingely oil: ½ cup
Salt: 1 ½ tsp
Vinegar: ½ cup
Hot water: ½ cup

Method for Lime Dates Pickle:

Wash the lemons and steam the lemons for 5- 8 minutes. Wipe with a towel and keep aside. In a non-stick pan, heat 1 tbsp oil and stir fry lemons turning all sides till they are slightly browned. Drain and discard the oil. Cool the lemons and cut them into 8 pieces (remove seeds), mix with little salt and keep aside. Deseed the dates and cut each into 3 or 4 pieces. Slice the Garlic, chop the ginger finely and slit green chili.

Lime Dates Pickle Lime Dates Pickle

Pour oil in a heated pan and fry garlic till golden brown and drain. Fry the ginger and green chillies, drain and keep aside. Next add the curry leaves and fry. Drain the curry leaves. In a bowl add turmeric powder, chilli powder, salt, Hing powder and roasted Uluva/ Fenugreek powder. Mix with hot water to make a paste. Reduce the flame and add the spice paste. Fry and add more hot water and Vinegar. Bring to a boil. Add fried garlic, ginger and green chilies back to the pan.

Lime Dates Pickle

Now, add the dates and mix well. (Keep on low flame). Let it cook for 5 minutes, covered. Stir occasionally. Adjust salt and add sugar if you want it sweeter. Next add the lemon pieces. Combine well and remove from fire..

Lime Dates Pickle Lime Dates Pickle

Keep it covered. Allow to cool and transfer it to a glass bottle. Enjoy after few days for best results. Lemon might be bitter on the first day, hence it is better to rest for few days to absorb the flavours. Have Lime Dates pickle with Biryani, Parathas, curd rice or have it with kanji, payar and chammanthi.


  • Adjust the spices according to your spice level.
  • Green chilly should be medium spicy.
  • Use Kashmiri Chili powder to get that deep red color to the pickle, it is less spicy and appealing!
  • Gingely oil/ Sesame oil or coconut oil can be used for this pickle.
  • Use firm lemons without blemishes.
  • Steaming the lemons make it softer. You can remove the seeds of the lemon while cutting.
  • Roasted Uluva powder/ Fenugreek powder should be used for better results. However, you can use whole Uluva/ Fenugreek if you prefer.
  • Add fruit vinegar or brewed vinegar for less pungent taste.
  • Make sure you have all the ingredients ready before starting the process.
  • Switch off the flame immediately after combining everything.
  • You can add more hot water if necessary.
  • Store in airtight containers. Always use dry spoons while serving.

Please try this recipe for Kerala style Dates and Lime Pickle, and don’t forget to let me know if you like it through comments. Please like my page and share with your friends using the buttons on the side- that would really encourage me. God Bless!!

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