Vepillakatti – Dried lemon leaf pickle


  • 6 cups (200 gms) freshly picked Narthangai (any kind of Lemon) leaves
  • 2 cups (20 gms) freshly picked Curry Leaves
  • 1/2 cup Tamarind
  • 1 tbsp powdered Jaggery/brown sugar (optional)
  • 4 tbsp Sesame Oil


  • 1/2 cup (10 gms) dried red chillies
  • 1 tbsp Asafoetida Powder (heeng)
  • 1/2 tbsp Carom Seeds (Ajwain)
  • 1 tbsp salt (or to taste)


  • Carefully pluck the Lemon leaves ensuring you do not prick yourself with the big thorns in between the leaves.Tear away the middle thick primary vein and put the torn leaf pieces in a colander.
  • Mix the curry leaves with the lemon leaves and wash thoroughly ensuring that there is not a trace of dust on the leaves.
  • Spread them on a large plate or newspaper and put them in the hot Sun to dry for 5 – 6 hours.If it is summer then by the end of day they would be crisp,wilted and perfect for the pickle!

Make the spice powder :

  • Heat 1 tbsp Sesame Oil in a pan on medium heat and add the dried red chillies,.When they start crisping up and turning a share darker,add the Asafoetida powder and mix well.Add the Carom Seeds and mix again.Keep aside to cool to room temperature.
  • Grind to a powder

Make the Vepillakatti :

  • Powder the crisped up lemon and curry leaves coarsely.
  • Add Tamarind and pulse the grinder to amalgamate the Tamarind with the leaves.
  • Add the prepared spice powder,jaggery powder and salt and pulse again till finely combined.
  • Transfer to a plate and drizzle the leftover sesame oil.Roll into balls and allow to firm up on a plate for 2 – 3 hours.
  • Keep the Vepillakatti in an airtight container!Use as required!

About Amrita Iyer:

She is a corporate employee with a reputed financial institution. She took up blogging as cooking was her passion. Her family had brilliant cooks before her mother’s generation who are still praised for their awesome talents.Watching her grandma cook was one pastime of her childhood and it is with her blessings that she inherited this talent and thought to blog about food which would be a tribute to all those dynamic and wonderful ancestors of her family. Her Social Media handles :


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The musings of two Chennaiites seeking to discover the world through food and travel. As they open themselves up to adventure, the accompanying puliyogare, travels well and ensures that the idea of home is never lost

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