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Pickled Lemons (Hamad Mraquade)

Introduction & Ingredients:

This is a typical Moroccan recipe, a way to preserve lemons and even a better way to add flavour to many different dishes, like grain salads, bean salads, ceviches, tapas and many more...

They will be ready in a couple of weeks, and if we cover them with a bit of oil they will last for months.

Ferments and bacterias will grow on the skin of the lemons, giving a totally different flavour, incredibly tasty! Actually the skin is the part we'll use, normally we don't use the pulp.

And they are really easy to make!


  • 6 lemons
  • 100 gr of unrefined sea salt
  • olive oil just to cover
  • few bay leaves (optional)
  • cumin seeds (optional)
  • caraway seeds (optional)

The first step is going to be washing the lemons, bring water to boil, boil lemons for just 1 minute and putting them directly in a bowl full of ice and water, in order to immediately reduce the temperature and stop the cooking. This process is going to help to take a bit of bitterness out.

Once we've done that, we can start cutting out the top and the bottom of each lemon. 

Now we have to cut each lemon as if were making quarters, but without reaching the end of it, so the lemos will actually stay whole. We do one cut on one side of the lemon and the other cut on the other side.

Once we've cut all the lemons, we start putting some salt inside each lemon and placing them in a glass jar. We need to choose the correct jar, thinking that we'll need to put a weight over the lemons, like a bottle of water or a glass with a stone on the the top.

When all the lemons are in the jar, we sprinkle the rest of the salt and we put a weigth on top of them, for one kilo of lemons put at least two kilos of weight. Leave the jar at room temperature out of direct sun light.

After 36 to 48 hours the lemons will be completely covered by their own juice.

At this piont we can remove the weight, we can put the spices we chose, (spices are completely optional, we can variate on them, or we can avoid them as well) and finally we cover with oil, to preserve better. You can use olive oil or another good quality seed oil. Take care that all the lemons are completely covered by oil.

They're now ready to mature. Try them after a week, after two weeks ans so on, and you will notice how the flavour will become better and better.