Mandarin Peel Pickle

Who doesn't love the fresh citrusy aroma of juicy mandarins? If you observe it closely, a mandarin peel has thousands of tiny sacs filled with aromatic essential oil. Mandarin essential oil promotes a sense of ease in life and boosts creativity.The fleshy fruit is equally aromatic and juicy. Mandarins provide a wealth of Vitamin C and are less acidic than oranges.

Vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen and elastin - structural components of skin that keep it firm. It is a powerful antioxidant defender (Source: Eat Pretty by Jolene Hart)

I do not throw away the mandarin peels. It is a store house of Vitamin C and essential oil. I use mandarin peels to make an instant Indian style pickle seasoned with mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and fresh green chillis. When stored properly in a air-tight glass container in the refrigerator, it will last for 2 weeks.

Recipe for Mandarin Peel Pickle:


1. Mandarin peels - 1 cup (finely chopped)
2. Mustard seeds for seasoning - 2 tsp
3. Fenugreek Seeds for seasoning - 1 tsp
4. Asafoetida powder - A pinch
5. Finely chopped fresh Green chillis - 1 or Paprika flakes
6. Salt to taste
7. Sugar - 1 tsp (optional)
8. Olive oil or Sesame seed oil (as per your preference) - 1 tbsp


1. Wash the mandarin peel. Soak it in cold water for 10 minutes or so to soften the peel.
2. Strain the water and dry the peels with a clean kitchen towel.
3. Finely chop the peel.
4. Heat up a stainless steel pan and add Olive oil or Sesame seed oil.
5. Add mustard seeds (yellow or black variety is fine). Allow it to splutter.
6. Add Fenugreek seeds and green chillis. If you prefer Paprika flakes, you can add it. I personally prefer fresh green chillis as it has Vitamin C too.
7. Saute for 30 seconds in low flame and add the mandarin peels.
8. Saute them for 2 minutes. Add sugar (optional).
9. Saute for another 1 minute and add salt and Asafoetida powder.
10. Give it a good mix and saute for another 5 minutes under low flame. Make sure the peels, seasoning don't char or burn.

Once the pickle has cooled down, store it in a airtight glass jar in the refrigerator. Use within 2 weeks.

I prefer not to season the pickle with lot of spices as I do not want to mask the mandarin peel flavour and citrus aroma.

You can have this pickle with curd rice (south Indian staple before completing the meal), Rotis etc as an accompaniment.

Hope you enjoy making Mandarin peel pickle!

If you have any interesting and simple recipe with mandarins or mandarin peel, Please do share in comments.

Take care and see you with a new blog post in the coming months.


Chef and the Leaf


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Excellent recipe Bhuvana. What a resourceful way to use the peels, which usually most of us just throw away. Thanks for sharing. Will surely try to make it

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