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Narthangai Oorugai/Citron Pickle

Narthangai_Oorugai_Citron_Pickle_1Narthangai/citron pickle is simple to prepare. Narthangai is used to make narthangai sadam, uppu narathangai, spicy pickle and pachadi.

I love the aroma of narthangai and this pickle suits well with curd rice even though it is slightly bitter in taste. As narthangai’s skin is thick, it takes 4 to 5 days to get soft and this can be used as a pickle thereafter.

Citron is known as narthangai (நார்த்தங்காய்) in Tamil and pickle is known as oorugai/oorukai (ஊறுகாய்) in Tamil.


  • Narthangai/citron medium size – 4 no
  • Crystal salt – quarter cup (adjust as per sourness of citron)
  • Red chilli powder – quarter cup (adjust as per taste)
  • Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Fenugreek – quarter teaspoon
  • Asafetida powder – of teaspoon
  • Mustard  powder – generous pinch (I use the readily available)
  • Sesame oil – cup

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  • Cut narthangai/citron into pieces in any shape as convenient and remove the seeds; add salt, turmeric powder.

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  • Mix well and keep it covered; it takes 4 to 5 days minimum for the narthangai pieces to get soft; slowly it gives out the juice and becomes soft; toss this twice a day.

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  • On the day when you find the pieces soft: dry roast asafetida powder, fenugreek seeds and powder it.

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  • Sprinkle chilli powder on narthangai pieces; heat seasame oil well in a pan.

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  • Pour this hot oil, over the chilli powder and then mix well; add asafetida-fenugreek powder, mustard powder and mix well.

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  • Now Narthangai Oorugai/Citron Pickle is ready. Store in a ceramic or glass airtight container. Daily mix twice with dry spoon till it is fully consumed.



  • Quantity of spices can be varied to suit your taste.
  • Select the quantity of pickle to last for not more than a week to retain freshness and taste.

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Priya September 23, 2011, 7:04 pm

    Slurp,mouthwatering here..

  • Reva September 23, 2011, 7:14 pm

    Truly tongue tickling.. Love to have it with curd rice..:)

  • malini September 24, 2011, 10:00 pm

    yummy, i like this but i was not sure how to prepare this. now i will try this. thanks alot.

  • Kalyani September 26, 2011, 2:14 pm

    very nice prep.. hubby like narthangai a lot, but I only used to use store bought ones.. this looks yum !!


  • kumargarimalla December 17, 2013, 10:47 am

    thank you. very useful.

  • Suresh April 3, 2015, 10:21 pm

    Thanks found the recipe useful

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