DRY SALTED LIME PICKLE
Dry salted lime pickles are produced in Asia and Africa. They are particularly popular in India, Pakistan and North Africa. The limes are treated with dry salt which extracts the juice from the fruit to create a brine. The salted limes are left to ferment, during which time lactic acid bacteria grow and multiply, producing lactic acid as a by-product. The lactic acid gives the pickle its sour taste and also acts as a preservative. The final product is a sour lime pickle. Various spices are added to the pickle depending on local preference. In India and Pakistan, the pickle is usually very spicy and hot due to the chilli added. It is usually eaten as a condiment. The dry salting method is used for pickling many vegetables an d fruits including limes, lemons and cucumbers. For dry salt pickling, any variety of common salt is suitable as long as it is pure. Impurities or additives can cause the following problems: Chemicals to reduce caking should not be used as they make the brine cloudy. Lime impurities can reduce the acidity of the final product and reduce the shelf life of the product. Iron impurities can result in the blackening of the vegetables. Magnesium impurities impart a bitter taste. Carbonates can result in pickles with a soft texture This technical brief should be read together with ‘Pickled fruits’ which gives an overview of the process of lactic acid fermentation of fruit and vegetables.
Raw material preparation
Select fully ripe limes that are free from bruising or damage. Wash the limes in potable cold water and drain. It is important that the water used for washing is clean – boiled water is ideal – to avoid contamination of the brine by water-borne bacteria. Chlorinated water should not be used for washing the fruit as this could prevent the natural fermentation taking place. Cut each lime into quarters or make four slits on the skin. All spices used should be of good quality and free of mould.
Place a layer of cut limes in a fermentation container (a large plastic barrel or bucket). Cover with a layer of salt. Use 1 kg of salt for every 4kg limes. Add another layer of limes and cover with salt. Continue with this layering process until the container is three quarters full, finishing with a layer of salt. Place a cloth on top of the lime and salt. Add a heavy weight on top to compress the fruit down and assist with the formation of a brine. The brine is formed as the juice from the limes is drawn out and mixes with the salt. This takes about 24 hours depending upon the ambient temperature. As soon as the brine is formed, fermentation starts and bubbles of carbon dioxide appear. Stand the container in a warm sunny place for a week to allow the fermentation to continue. A temperature of 21°C is ideal for lactic acid fermentation. Fermentation is complete when no more bubbles appear.
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Dry Salted Lime Pickle
Add spices to the fermented limes according to local taste. Fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dried chillies and turmeric powder are commonly added to the fermented limes to make a hot spicy pickle. Roast the fenugreek and cumin seeds and the dried chilli. Grind them with the turmeric powder. Heat a few teaspoons of oil in a pan and cook mustard seeds until they pop. Add the ground spices and mix with the fermented lime.
10 fresh limes 1-2 cups salt 1 tsp cumin seeds 1 tbsp mustard seeds 1 tbs. fenugreek seeds 20-25 dried red chillies 1 tsp turmeric powder
Fruit selection Wash Cut Mix with salt Ferment Add spices to taste Package Only ripe limes should be used In clean water Cut into four pieces or slice the skin 1kg salt for 4kg of limes Leave the container in the sun for a week to ferment Dry roast, grind and mix with oil
Packaging and storage
Pack the pickle into glass or plastic bottles or into small plastic pouches which are heat sealed. The bottles should be sterilised before filling. Oil is sometimes added to the top of the pickle to help preservation. Lime pickle keeps well if stored in a cool place. Due to the high acid level of the final product, the risk of food poisoning is low.
Fermentation bucket – plastic bucket with lid Thermometer Weighing scales Salometer (optional)
Note: This is a selective list of suppliers and does not imply endorsement by Practical Action
Cutting and slicing equipment
Eastend Engineering Company 173/1 Gopal Lal Thakur Road Calcutta 700 035 India Tel: +91 33 2553 6397
A range of manual and powered cutting and slicing machinery is available. Narangs Corporation P-25 Connaught Place New Delhi 110001 India Tel: +91 11 2336 3547 Fax: +91 11 2374 6705
Dry Salted Lime Pickle
Gardners Corporation 158 Golf Links New Delhi 110003 India Tel: +91 11 2334 4287/2336 3640 Fax: +91 11 2371 7179
It is important to have accurate weighing machines. Quite often more than one machine is required - -a large one to weigh the fruit and a small one for weighing out the dry ingredients such as pectin and spices. Fischer Scientific Bishop Meadow Road Loughborough LE11 5RG UK Tel: +44 1509 231166 Fax: +44 1509 231893 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.fisher.co.uk Essae-Teraoka Ltd 377/22 6th Cross Wilson Garden Bangalore 560027 India Tel: =91 80 2216185/2241165
Narangs Corporation India (see above) Gardners Corporation India (see above)
Bottle filling and packaging equipment
Orbit Equipments Pvt Ltd 175 - B, Plassy Lane Bowenpally Secunderabad - 500011, Andhra Pradesh India Tel: +91 40 32504222 Fax: +91 40 27742638 Website : http://www.orbitequipments.com Sussex and Berkshire Machinery Company PLC Blacknest Alton, Hants GU34 4PX United Kingdom Tel: + 44 (0)1420 22669 Fax: + 44 (0)1420 22687 E-mail: email@example.com Website: http://www.sabplc.co.uk/ Pharmaco Machines Unit No. 4, S.No.25 A Opp Savali Dhaba, Nr.Indo-Max Nanded Phata, Off Sinhagad Rd. Pune – 411041, India Tel: +91 20 65706009 Fax: +91 20 24393377
Dry Salted Lime Pickle
Acufil Machines S. F. No. 120/2, Kalapatty Post Office Coimbatore - 641 035 Tamil Nadu, India Tel: +91 422 2666108/2669909 Fax: +91 422 2666255 Email : firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com http://www.indiamart.com/acufilmachines/#products Autopack Machines Pvt Ltd 101-C Poonam Cambers A Wing, 1st Floor Dr Annie Besant Road, Worli Mumbai 400018 India Tel: +91 22 2493 4406/2497 4800/2492 4806 Fax: +91 22 2496 4926 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.autopackmachines.com Bombay Engineering Industry R NO 6 (Extn) Sevantibai Bhavan Chimatpada Marol Naka Andheri (East) Mumbai 400059 India Tel: +91 22 2836 9368/2821 5795 Fax: +91 22 2413 5828 MMM Buxabhoy & Co 140 Sarang Street 1st Floor, Near Crawford Market Mumbai, India Tel: +91 22 2344 2902 Fax: +91 22 2345 2532 email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com Gardners Corporation India (see above) Gurdeep Packaging Machines Harichand Mill compound LBS Marg, Vikhroli Mumbai 400 079 India Tel: +91 22 2578 3521/577 5846/579 5982 Fax: +91 22 2577 2846 Eastend Engineering Company India (See above)
Rank and Company A-p6/3, Wazirpur Industrial Estate Delhi – 110 052 India Tel: +91 11 27376101 Fax: +91 11 7234126 Rank@poboxes.com
Banyong Engineering 94 Moo 4 Sukhaphibaon No 2 Rd Industrial Estate Bangchan Bankapi Thailand Tel: +66 2 5179215-9
Alfa Technology Transfer Centre 301 Cach Mang Thang 8 Tan Binh District Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam Tel: +84 8 9700868 Fax: +84 8 8640252 Technology and Equipment Development Centre (LIDUTA) 360 Bis Ben Van Don St District 4 Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam Tel: +84 8 9400906 Fax: +84 8 9400906
John Kojo Arthur University of Science and Technology Kumasi Ghana
Dry Salted Lime Pickle
Narangs Corporation India (see above)
Bellingham + Stanley Ltd . Longfield Road, North Farm Industrial Estate Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 3EY United Kingdom Tel: +44 1892 500400 Fax: +44 1892 543115 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.bs-ltd.com Fisher Scientific UK Ltd UK (see above) International Ripening Company 1185 Pnieridge Road Norfoplk Virginia 23502-2095 USA Tel: +1 757 855 3094 Fax: +1 757 855 4155 Email: info@QAsupplies.com Web: www.qasupplies.com Gardners Corporation India (see above)
References and further reading
Pickles and vinegars selection of Practical Action Technical Briefs Pickles of Bangladesh S Azami & M Battcock, Practical Action Publishing, 1996
This document was produced by Dr. S Azam Ali for Practical Action March 2009. Dr. S Azam-Ali is a consultant in food processing and nutrition with over 15 years experience of working with small-scale processors in developing countries. Practical Action The Schumacher Centre Bourton-on-Dunsmore Rugby, Warwickshire, CV23 9QZ United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)1926 634400 Fax: +44 (0)1926 634401 E-mail: email@example.com Website: http://practicalaction.org/practicalanswers/
Practical Action is a development charity with a difference. We know the simplest ideas can have the most profound, life-changing effect on poor people across the world. For over 40 years, we have been working closely with some of the world’s poorest people - using simple technology to fight poverty and transform their lives for the better. We currently work in 15 countries in Africa, South Asia and Latin America.
By Sue Azam Ali, Published by Practical Action on 02/02/02
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