Since long time go, like any traditional societies, Moroccans have developed many methods to preserve several kinds of food they like so that they could use them any time and for special dishes. For longer food storage, they dry fruits, vegetables, and meat; they preserve butter; and they pickle lemons and olives. In this recipe we will introduce you to a traditional way that Moroccans use to preserve lemons and use them in their dishes to add extraordinary flavours. Known as Lhamd Marakad or Mssiyar, pickled lemons are lemons which have been preserved in salt and their own juices for few weeks before they become ready for use. They add a salty, distinctive lemon flavour to Moroccan Tagines, sauces and salads. In Morocco, you can buy pickled lemons in stores, but for those who can’t find them can easily make their own at home.
- 7 lemons (Mayer lemons are better).
- ½ to 1 cup coarse salt.
- 1 glass jar.
- Wash the lemons well and wipe them with a dry and clean dish towel.
- Close firmly and save in a dark place
- Make two incisions on the top of each lemon lengthwise downward shaped ‘ X’ so that they open up but stay attached.
- Put one teaspoon of coarse salt inside each lemon.
- Put the lemons on a clean glass jar one by one.
- Press the lemons very firmly in the jar to get the juices flowing.
- Cover the jar tightly and let it in a dry and dark place.
- Every two or three days, open the jar and compress the lemons to release more juices.