14 September 2020

Vadukapuli Naranga Achar | Naranga Curry pickle|Wild Lemon pickle Kerala style - A Kerala Sadya Pickle Recipe


Vadukapuli Naranga Achar is a traditional lemon pickle usually prepared for Kerala's grand feast,Sadya . What makes this lemon pickle unique from other usual lemon pickles is the special lemon used called "wild lemon"a.k.a Curry citrus a.k.a. Curry Naranga a.k.a Vadukapuli Naranga in Malayalam.Hence, this lemon pickle is known as Vadukapuli Naranga Achar.


Day before Onam 2020:

Amma/Her highness : Honey,do you get the curry lemon in US?

Yours truly,moi: Since my G.K. is too good,I thought only one kind of lemon and it's non-identical twin, lime only exists. So, I replied,"Amma,you name it,we get it in US for sure ..sometimes they are in frozen form though.

Amma: Really!! That's good. Alrighty,wanna learn how to make vadukapuli naranga achar then?

Yours truly: Yeppy...let's do it ! 

Amma : Bring that lemon from the refrigerator.

Yours truly:Brings the gooseberry size lemon with a zing in my steps.πŸ’ƒ

Amma: Oho..not this one, bring the large one.

Yours truly: Searches the refrigerator like a spy 007 in and out (singing the James Bond BGM) .My mother rushed towards me wondering what happened,why is it taking too long.

Amma:I asked you to bring the lemon not to clean the refrigerator .

Yours truly:Ooopsie... There is no lemon Amma.Scold acha/father,he forgot to buy it seems ...me LOLing...πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‹πŸ˜

Amma:You have two big eyes like a frog.Can't you see this lemon ??πŸ‘€

Yours truly : Speechless😬 ..then stammering...aren't we gonna make a lem..mon pickle. Why do we need a grapefruit ??😧


Amma :Loling ...honey this is the lemon we will be using for the pickle.It is called curry pickle or vadukapuli traditionally.

Yours truly : Realises and reconfirms ,that my G.K. is truly not up to mark with a mouth wide open and deep sigh .#Hightime

Amma: So,you do get this curry lemon in store in US ..right?

Your truly :Aa..mmm...we get grapefruits like that 😨 . (Finds a quick excuse!) I am sure they are available in stores there..I might not have paid attention.

Amma : Since she knows her daughter very welll😎...honey don't worry ,you can use medium size lemons for this pickle too.

Yours truly : Really?? ...OK 😬 .. (Sho chammipoyii !!😐😏)

Truth be told,this is the first time ever I saw this huge lemon ,it's a wild lemon,size of a small grapefruit yellow in color and tastes little sourer than the usual lemons .#HolyLemonOLY 

This wild lemon definitely stole my heart (I was like who knew you existed darling? πŸ˜πŸ’›) and so does this curry style lemon pickle. 


The good thing about this pickle is that it is an instant pickle ,which can be prepared quickly and served quickly as well. This naranga curry pickle tastes so fine, finger-licking that it can make everyday meal also more mouthwatering. And the favorite way of enjoying this lemon pickle when served in Sadya is not just licking in between the meal but mainly with the desserts,the payasams as the spicy pickle helps in balancing the sweetness of the desserts.I love love love this pickle especially my mother's recipe.


Reminds me, when we used to be in North India, during vacation to Kerala, we used to board train that had a halt in Madras and next day we used to board the next train to Kerala from there. Then we used to stay in hotel, and they used to serve this pickle with dosa chutney or rice and curries exclusively. Simply delicious!! Though there is a direct train ,Bokaro-Alleppey now,but those Madras-ee memories are refreshing.😊

RELATED:Spicy Kerala Naranga Achar

The downside of this homemade pickle is that it doesn't have a long shelf life. Max 2 to 3 weeks it stays fresh and yummy when properly refrigerated. Anyways, it is so tasty that it will finish fast.

I always wanted to learn how to make this curry naranga pickle but funny thing is that yet, I had no idea a big lemon is used for the traditional recipe. No wonder why the lemon pieces tastes so succulent and different.

So,this is how we make curry style naranga pickle :

Vadakapuli Naranga Achar |Curry Style Lemon Pickle Kerala 


Wild lemon,1 No.,chopped

Water + Salt ,boiled and cooled off  1 Cup

Vinegar ,boiled and cooled off  1/4th cup

Gingely oil/Sesame oil  6 Tbsp

Mustard seeds 1 Tsp

Garlic,slit 10 to 20 Nos.

Green Chilies ,chopped 4 to 7 Nos.

Red chili powder  4 Tbsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 Tbsp
Fenugreek Powder 1 Tbsp
Asafoetida Powder 1/2 Tbsp

Sugar 1/2 to 1 Tsp

Preparation method to make curry naranga achar :

  1. Boil little water and let it cool off.
  2. Boil vinegar and let it cool off.
  3. Meanwhile, peel the skin off the wild lemon and cut it into half and then cut it vertically into six or more pieces. Then chop it into more pieces.
  4. Heat a pan with oil and splutter mustard seeds.
  5. Add chopped garlic and green chilies and sautΓ© until they are transparent and change color slightly.
  6. Then add the chopped lemon and saute on low flame until the water oozes out of the lemon.
  7. Then add all the spices and saute until everything is well coated.
  8. Then add the water till it entirely covers the pickle.
  9. Finally, add the vinegar and stir well.
  10. Check salt and add sugar if needed.  
  11. Let it come to boil, then lower the flame and let it simmer until it thickens to the desired level.
  12. Put off the flame.Let it cool off.
  13. That's it Vadukapuli Naaranga Achar is ready to serve.


  • Instead of wild lemons, the usual medium size lemons can also be used .But don't remove the skin of those small lemons though. Wild lemons have too thick skin that's why they are peeled off.
  • Adjust the green chilies and spice powders to make it less spicy.But it tastes good when it is spicy.If you can tolerate,or you like the presence or taste of dry red chilies,then you may add broken red chilies on low flame after spluttering the mustard seeds.
  • Some people add ginger pieces too,taste may differ then though.
  • You may add curry leaves as well.
  • Sugar or even jaggery can be added to balance the bitterness any and enhancing the taste.
  • Always use dry sterilized glass jars/bottles/ceramic utensils to store pickle.
  • Always use dry spoons to scoop out the pickle or the pickle may get spoiled, develop fungus. 
  • Refrigerate it!

OR,watch this pickle video how to make vadukapuli Naranga Achar step by step .Hope it helps.

Not only just the pickle ,I also love the name of the pickle so much "Vadukapuli Naranga Achar" sounds like Narasimham/Puli Murugan /RajaManikyam/Rajaputhran ...You know kinda power-packed/ royal ...Nalley Punch olley peru.... πŸ‘ŠπŸ’ͺπŸ’₯#PuliAaanuKetaπŸ˜ŽπŸ˜‰πŸ˜»


This pickle and the vella naranga achar , I would like to make them more as they can be prepared quickly and also Honey P won't be able to finish it off that fast...Yendano?? Nalla erri ulla pacha mulag ondey athond (Chili, the villain is there !) πŸ˜œπŸ‘πŸ˜‚ ...Alapinney...Ennodaa kalii ,enoddu kalicha njan kali padipikyuvvey πŸ™ŠπŸ™‰ ....Chumatha Praveen chetta (a.k.a. Honey P a.k.a /one of the quirky name I gave to my hubby) ,BYJU's App ndey ad. anganna /dialoguey πŸ™ˆπŸ™‰πŸ˜‰πŸ˜ ...njan onnum (p)arinjilla Rama Narayana πŸ˜πŸ˜‰πŸ˜. #HubbyIsAPickleAddicto 

RELATED:Kadumanga Achar|Cut Mango Pickle recipe

Whether you are a huge fan of pickle or not,but this simple instant pickle can make you one ,I believe.Try it .Hope you will go gaga and pink and maa dona (in Hindi) over it .I mean you will love it.I betcha !!

That's it for today!

Pls take good care of yourself.😊

Just a humble reminder : (CNN (<-Click for the link))If people washed their hands regularly, wore masks, and kept their social distance from each other, these three simple behaviors could stop most of the Covid-19 pandemic, even without a vaccine or additional treatments, according to a new study. PLS DO NOT FORGET!!