Lime Pickle (Mombasa Style)

There are many types of lime pickles readily available, however, this particular one is very Kenyan, in that it does not contain any oil and yet can be stored in the refrigerator. This was made popular within our family by one of my aunt’s in Kenya.  It is still widely available from hawkers and shops in Mombasa.  It is very simple to make, but the trick is to use the correct type of limes, only thin skinned yellow limes will do!  If you use green limes or lemons you will get a very different result

Lime Pickle (Mombasa Style)

Print Recipe
Cuisine: Kenyan Asian Serves: 10 Cooking Time: Prep 20 minutes


  • 12 yellow limes preferably Kenyan (if you use lemons or green limes you will have a different result)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 level tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbs red chillie flakes
  • 10 whole garlic cloves
  • 4 inch thinly sliced fresh ginger
  • 10 green chillies sliced into twos



Soak all limes in cold water overnight or in warm water for 2hrs (optional).


Discard the water and dry the limes with kitchen paper.


Thinly slice 4 limes into rings and place in a ziplock plastic bag or bowl.


Squeeze juice of remaining 8 limes over the slices.


Add salt, chillie powder and turmeric, microwave for 2 mins in the bag (do not seal the bag), cool for 1o mins then microwave on full heat for another 2 mins, cool for 10 mins and microwave for 4 mins. When cool, press the lime skin between thumb and forefinger to see if the skin has softened slightly. If it has, transfer into a jar, if not microwave for a further 2 mins.lime slices in micro


Add all other remaining ingredients, cover jar with cling film and keep in direct sunshine for 5 days, or if there is no sunshine then on the kitchen windowsill. Turn over ingredients daily.


Once lime rings are softer and assimilated in the juice, store in the refrigerator and utilize as required.


Will keep in the refrigerator for up to 8 weeks. If the pickle thickens or you would like it runnier, add 4 tbs of hot boiling water and mix