Sweet-sour preserved lemons

A wonderful way to use lemons in winter…in soups, chicken tagines, lamb tagines, stews, ragouts, oven-bakes dishes, sambals. I also use the skin, finely chopped in salads. Not too mention how beautiful it looks in the pantry, or on a buffet or kitchen dresser..


  • About 10 lemons, organic if possible, depending on the size of your jar
  • 400 ml sugar
  • 125 ml coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli powder(optional)
  • fresh lemon leaves
  1. Wash the lemons well under running water and cut them into quarters.
  2. Mix the salt, sugar, chilli powder and turmeric together and roll the quarters in the mixture until well covered.
  3. Layer the lemon quarters is a sterilized jar and sprinkle each layer liberally with the sugar mixture.
  4. Add the lemon leaves and fill the jar with the lemon quarters and sugar mixture until full.
  5. Store in a cool and dark place, turning the jar upside down every day. Store for about a month before using.
  6. The lemon juice and sugar mixture will eventually form a brine.
  7. If preferred, you can omit the sugar and spices, keep the lemons whole, prick them with a fork and layer the whole lemons with the coarse salt.

Recipe adapted from Rainbow Cuisine by Lannice Snyman.


This is an entry for A spoonful of Christmas, hosted by Zlamushka from Zlamushka’s spicy kitchen.

9 responses

  1. I love preserved lemon as preserve orange. Those looks wonderful, and I swear, I can feel right now how they taste looking this stunning photo

    02/11/2007 at 21:58

  2. Hey :-) Look what I found.. Is that ALL for me ? Hurray (clapping hands happily). Wow, love pickled anything. Thank you very much…

    04/11/2007 at 16:22

  3. i love lemon pickle. Always have some ready in my store. 3 bottles as we speak :)
    love your presentation though. that is a beautiful tall jar. the kind u love to display on your kitchen counter top !

    05/11/2007 at 19:55

  4. This is one of those recipes I have been meaning to try for ages. This winter, I’m doing it. Lovely pic.

    05/11/2007 at 20:21

  5. I’ve been dying to try these… thanks for the recipe. The skin is also great if chopped into small cubes and mixed with olives, a little olive oil and thyme.

    09/11/2007 at 13:50

  6. Ronelle, you have a particularly fine talent for arranging ingredients under glass. I love sweet and/or salty preserved produce. This, like your jarred quince, makes an outstanding presentation.

    11/11/2007 at 15:39

  7. Apologies. I see I have spelled your name incorrectly. No “e.”

    11/11/2007 at 18:43

  8. Pingback: blog from OUR kitchen » Moroccan-style Chicken with Couscous (WHB#226: preserved lemons)

  9. Helen

    Thanks for your recipe! I was able to find Meyer lemons – it was really easy and simple to make the preserves. I am planning to give some away at Christmas! it will bring a blast of sunshine to our wet weather in Vancouver Canada. Merry Christmas : )

    21/12/2012 at 05:02


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