Spicy African Preserved Limes

READY IN: 168hrs 30mins
YIELD: 1-2 jars


  • 1
    cup coarse salt (koshering salt, 250 ml)
  • 4
    tablespoons mustard powder (60 ml)
  • 1
    tablespoon hot pepper flakes (15 ml, or a hot pepper powder such as cayenne, some recipes add up to 5 oz, use to to taste)
  • 1
    tablespoon turmeric (15 ml)
  • 1
    tablespoon fennel seed, crushed (15 ml)
  • 2
    tablespoons coriander seeds, crushed (30 ml)
  • 3
    ounces mustard seeds, yellow (90 g)
  • 2 12
    cups sunflower oil (625 ml, any cooking oil you use, but not olive)


  • Wash the limes and dry them, then cut into wedges. In a glass bowl, mix them with the salt.
  • Cover with clingwrap and store in a cool place for a week, or until the lime wedges start discolouring.
  • Mix all the spices together, add to the limes, and toss well. Cover again, and let stand for another 2 - 3 days.
  • Sterilise a large canning jar by putting it in a cookie (or other tin) in a cold oven and heating the oven to about 300 deg F/ 150 deg C or more. Leave jar (or 2 - 3 smaller jars) at that heat for at least 10 minutes, or until you fill the jar. It has to be very hot, otherwise it will crack at the next step.
  • Heat the oil in a pot (be very careful not to burn yourself) until it is very hot and starts to smoke. Please watch the oil!
  • (Keep the lid of the pot handy -- if the worst happens and the oil catches fire, slam on the lid. This will kill the fire immediately).
  • When the oil gets to really hot, take the sterililised jar or jars out of the oven, and pack in the lime wedges. It's best to use tongs.
  • Pour the smoking hot oil over the limes, and seal with a lid.
  • Store at room temperature for at least a week before using.