Lime Pickle and Peanut Butter Sandwiches.

by Harry on April 24, 2006

A long promised post for one of our readers in a bi-national marriage.

Use a soft whole grain bread. Spread crunchy natural peanut butter thickly on the first slice. Spread a sweet or medium lime pickle thinly on top. Cover with the second slice of bread.

This is an incredibly annoying recipe because I have been unable to find a really good peanut butter anywhere in the UK, or a really good mild lime pickle in the US (Pataks is occasionally find-able here, but frankly nothing beats Marks and Spencer). Still, if you can find the ingredients, enjoy it.

Update: if, like jr, you’ve no idea what lime pickle is, here’s a recipe and picture. Now it occurs to me I could make my own; has anyone reverse-engineered the Marks and Spencer recipe?



JR 04.24.06 at 1:34 pm

WTF is a lime pickle?


Chris Bertram 04.24.06 at 1:51 pm

Lime pickle is heaven … I like the Sharwoods version myself but Pataks is in the cupboard at the moment. But combined with peanut butter!!! Still, I’m going to try the experiment … will report back in 5 mins or so.


Chris Bertram 04.24.06 at 2:02 pm

OK … on the basis of badly conforming ingredients, namely

1. HOT lime pickle
2. Waitrose crunchy peanut butter
3. A hunk of wholemeal bread (slightly stale)

I’d say that it’s a hit. The sweetness of the peanut butter complements the sharpness of the lime pickle rather well.

(But for hot lime pickle I’d say Stilton cheese beats pb.)


The Modesto Kid 04.24.06 at 2:03 pm

The only lime pickle that I am familiar with (which I love, though I haven’t had any in some time) is way, way spicy. Does the “sweet or medium” designation mean as opposed to fiery hot?


Uncle Kvetch 04.24.06 at 2:16 pm

I’d never visited Mahanandi before…gorgeous! Many thanks for the link.


blah 04.24.06 at 3:13 pm

One of the differences between American and British English: in the U.S., we would probably refer to it as pickled lime. For us, a pickle = a gherkin. Anything else that involves pickling is usually referred to as “pickled __.”


theophylact 04.24.06 at 3:14 pm

Well, around here (DC), subcontinental grocery stores are not that uncommon, and I’ve found Laxmi brand lime pickle to be very nice indeed.


harry b 04.24.06 at 3:42 pm

The only hot lime pickle I can get here is Pataks, and it really is too hot, hence, as modesto kid assumes, the preference for mild/medium/sweet. I do prefer Sharwoods, but its not obtainable, and I appreciate the tip for Laxmi. And, yes, I bet Waitrose and actually M&S do great PB. I discovered it by accident one day; I was getting a piece of PB on bread for my youngest-so-far and accidentally spilt large dollop of lime pickle that was destined for my own cheese sandwich, and not being wasteful I tried it out.


etat 04.24.06 at 3:50 pm

I’ll have to check the M&S connection for PB, but thus far, Sun-Pat and the own brands available in Tesco, Somerfield &c are under-roasted. Saw one yesterday that was the colour of raw nuts. No wonder people here hate the stuff!


blah 04.24.06 at 3:54 pm

I have just realized what you’ve done is created a fusion peanut butter and jelly sandwich!


josh 04.24.06 at 4:35 pm

Harry, might you be able to order Sharwoods through the mail? I do think their lime pickle is the nicest — and it seems like the sort of thing that ought to be obtainable in the US. (I’ve seen their mango chutney around here, but can’t report any actual US sitings of the lime pickle).
I’m rather fond of lime pickle as a filling for omelettes, myself …


mykej 04.24.06 at 5:21 pm

I’ve not reverse engineered the M&S lime pickle, but would you like a Neiman Marcus cookie?


Kieran Healy 04.24.06 at 7:26 pm

mykej, don’t you know the saying “If you give an analytic philosopher a cookie … “


tom @whimsley 04.24.06 at 8:03 pm

In Ontario only Patak’s Hot Lime Pickle is widely available. I tried that, together with Kraft Crunchy Peanut Butter, and – well – sorry harry & chris but I consider it a waste of pickle.

I wish I had the vocabulary and palate to describe food and taste properly so I could explain what it is I don’t like about it. But I’ll just have to stick with “I don’t know much about fusion, but I know what I don’t like”.

Still, the effort was not a waste of time. It was, at least, different. Better luck next time.


harry b 04.24.06 at 8:57 pm

Well, I will say that I can’t stand it with the hot lime pickle (Pataks; anything else is hard to find here), but I can say why; too hot, and the taste of both of the lime and the PB is all-but-obliterated.

Oddly, I don’t even like PB on its own or in PBJ (my wife and youngest-so-far eat PB, I and my eldest eat marmite).


Kenny Easwaran 04.24.06 at 11:29 pm

I didn’t realize there was such a thing as not-incredibly-too-hot lime pickle – I’ll have to go to some Indian grocery or something here in Berkeley and try it out, so that maybe I can develop enough tolerance for when I visit my parents.


Simon Ross 04.25.06 at 4:39 am

As a big PB consumer, I’ve been very satisfied with the Whole Earth crunchy (available in Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, as well as health food shops).


rich 04.25.06 at 5:28 am

I like Asda SmartPrice peanut butter, because it’s made from peanuts, oil, and salt. Pretty much everything else – especially American brands – seem to have added sugar which make them far too sweet.

There are a number of FairTrade peanut butters as well, which are similar.


Hester 04.25.06 at 10:45 am

I can get Whole Earth crunchy pb at my local Tesco.

I consider the point of lime pickle to be to take the inside layer of your mouth off, though: my favourite Indian restaurant is quite liberal with the birds eye chillies.


The Modesto Kid 04.25.06 at 1:50 pm

Here in the US (at least in the northeast), a lot of health food stores sell fresh-ground, just a machine with peanuts in it, you put a dollar in and it grinds some up for you. Can be quite good if you salt it properly and don’t let it sit in your fridge too long a time before you eat it. Is there anything like that available in England?


Tim 04.25.06 at 3:15 pm

Obligatory private health warning:
Chow down on yer fresh-ground pb all you like, but make damn sure the peanuts are roasted: there’s a virus that the raw ones carry which makes you sick as hell off the bat and then gives you cancer, to boot (so my cancer biologist wife tells me).


saurabh 04.25.06 at 4:25 pm

No store-bought lime pickle compares to the home-made stuff. They’re all crap, pretty much, so over-spiced that you can barely taste the individual flavors of whatever is being pickled. I’d suggest trying the above linked recipe, although when my grandma makes them she usually lets them pickle quite a bit longer than that.


danny 04.26.06 at 12:55 am

Lime pickle alone tastes yummy!!!! But if u manage to get the peanut butter its the recipe to relish. Quick to prepare and good to eat. Go to some Indian grocery shop and pick up your bottle of pickle.


josh 04.26.06 at 1:55 am

tim, i think you’re thinking of aflatoxins, which grow on peanuts that have been improperly stored. It’s apparently a great problem in many developing countries, but (supposedly) rare in developed nations, where peanuts are less likely to be improperly stored — or mouldy peanuts are less likely to actually get consumed. Given that one can’t necessarily know whether the peanuts used in pb were rotten or not, I suppose it’s best to be careful; still, I don’t think that getting aflatoxin poisoning is a certainty, or even a great likelihood, from ‘raw’ pb.


soubzriquet 04.26.06 at 9:11 am

14: I think your problem may be that Kraft is horrible, and Pataks is mediocre. I’m surprised at your Ontario comment though, are you in a really remote or small part? You can get pretty much anything in Toronto, unsurprisingly, but beyond that I had no trouble finding Indian chutneys etc. in places like London, K-W, Kingston, … best bet is to look for a small Indian grocer (worth the trip just for the spices!)


The Modesto Kid 04.26.06 at 10:15 am

I would also be very surprised to see non-roasted peanuts being used in the fresh-ground peanut butter machines. Peanut butter from raw nuts would taste extremely bland.


vivian 04.26.06 at 8:16 pm

Thanks for the recipe! Never tried lime pickle, but local markets carry Sharwoods items. As an utter wimp about capsaicin, I hope their definition of mild is not ironically postcolonial.

Making Light often carries citrus recipes of all sorts – perhaps you could post a request on one of their open threads, or send out a batsignal on those secret superblogger networks… Google autocompleted my search for “lime pickle recipes” so someone who knew what it should taste like could find that useful…

Of course, UK bread is really spectacular, but I shall investigate.


vivian 04.26.06 at 8:22 pm

Peanuts are already full of oil; good PB requires roasting and salt and that’s it (and I can do without the salt). In the US look for ‘all natural’ or unemulsified brands that have oil floating on top (to be mixed in). Keep it in the fridge or risk having it go rancid. You can also smoosh your own in a food processor or grinder (and even add other nuts for variety.

BTW, PB and apricot butter (or jam) is great. It doesn’t have to be grape jelly, use a fruit with flavor.

Chris (or anyone) – what sort of Stilton – white or blue? What other kinds of cheese for the mild (not hot) lime pickle?


Uncle Kvetch 04.27.06 at 11:40 am

In the US look for ‘all natural’ or unemulsified brands that have oil floating on top (to be mixed in). Keep it in the fridge or risk having it go rancid.

Hmmm. I buy all-natural all the time and I don’t refrigerate it, and I’ve never had a problem with rancidity. But then that may be because I eat the stuff too fast for that to happen.

Interesting to see so many Brits talking about peanut butter. Is this a recent development? I remember having to explain the concept of PB&J to a British friend about 20 years ago…she was horrified. (And I find my French acquaintances still tend to recoil from PB in general.)


Geoffrey 04.27.06 at 10:57 pm

Okay, this sounded so interesting I got two brands – Ashoka’s Rajasthani Lime Relish and Priya’s Lime Pickle.

The Priya was far too hot and dry for my taste. But the Ashoka’s relish was excellent – a really distinctive flavor, sweet and tangy.

I got it in NYC, at 28th and Lexington.


harry b 04.28.06 at 7:32 am

Thanks geoffrey — that’s interesting, I just bought some Ashoka’s mango pickle last week on the grounds that it looked at least as good as Pataks (my favourite mango pickle). So now I shall go all out to find their lime pickle (well, “all out” meaning I’ll scour Madison and the web; even I think a trip to 28th and Lexington would be excessively self-indulgent from here).

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