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Courgette, Runner Bean and Lime Pickle

This is a very addictive Indian-spiced pickle that uses the classic vegetable grower’s glut of courgettes and runner beans. Reminiscent of the shop-bought pickles popularly eaten with poppadoms, this spicy pickle is tangy with lime and whole spices. It’s lovely served with dhal and onion and tomato salad.

Courgette, Runner Bean and Lime Pickle

Makes 1kg


  • 400g courgettes
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 200g runner beans
  • 1 lime
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 20g (thumb sized) piece of ginger, peeled
  • 2 green chillies, de-seeded
  • 100ml sunflower or rapeseed oil
  • 5 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp red chilli flakes
  • 500ml cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 x 500g jars


  1. Dice the courgettes into small (1cm) pieces. Place in a colander over a bowl, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sea salt. Set aside for 1 hour, allowing the water to drain from the courgettes. Do not rinse them.
  2. Slice the runner beans diagonally into small bite sized pieces and set aside.
  3. To soften and remove any bitterness from the lime, cut the lime into quarters, then slice each quarter into 4. Place into a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, simmer for a couple of minutes, then drain in a sieve, place back in the saucepan again and cover with water. Place the saucepan back on the heat and bring to a boil again, simmer for a few minutes, then drain and set aside.
  4. To sterilise the jars place clean washed jars onto a tray in a preheated oven at 130° for 20 minutes. Switch the oven off and leave the jars inside until needed.
  5. Make a paste with the garlic, ginger and green chillies either by hand in a pestle and mortar or with a stick blender or mini food processor.
  6. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, and add the curry leaves, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. When the seeds and leaves are sizzling, add the garlic paste and fry briefly for a few seconds, taking care not to burn the paste. Add the turmeric, chilli flakes and lime pieces, stir to combine with the spices, then add the cider vinegar, sugar and salt.
  7. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. After 10 minutes, increase the heat again and add the courgettes and beans. Simmer gently for another 6-8 minutes or until they are just tender, then pour into warm sterilised jars. Carefully knock the jar bases to pop any air pockets. Seal or screw on the lids and allow to cool. Store in a cool dark place for up to 6 months. Once opened store in the fridge and consume within 2 months. 

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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