Make Your Own Moroccan Preserved Lemons

Moroccan-style preserved lemons (known as l’hamd marakad) add an essential tartness to your culinary endeavors, tagines in particular.  These lemons take about seven days to pickle, but all you need is the basics: fruit, salt, and a nice spice blend.

Photography by Alexa Hotz for Gardenista.

Here’s what you need (adapted from Epicurious):

  • 5 lemons of any variety (Meyer, Lisbon, Bonnie Brae)
  • 1/4 cup coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Sterilized pint-sized mason jar
  • Optional: Safi spices (see below) or green peppercorns, bay leaves, and coriander seeds.

Above: The traditional Safi mixture includes cinnamon, clove, coriander, black peppercorns, and bay leaves (see Epicurious for exact measurements).

Above: Quarter the lemons, leaving a half inch at the bottom uncut, then sprinkle coarse salt inside the fruit.

Above: In addition to the dry ingredients, prepare 1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice to add to the jar. Add the lemons to a sterilized jar, add coarse salt and lemon juice, and stack the lemons to the top. Reseal the jar by submerging in boiling water or by the oven.

See more canning ideas and recipes on Gardenista.


Tim C.
Tim C.3 years ago


Betty C.
Betty C.3 years ago


Ro H.
Ro H.3 years ago


Carla van der Meer

Yummy, thanks.

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen3 years ago

Thank you :)

Summerannie Moon
Summerannie M.3 years ago


J.L. A.
JL A.3 years ago


Jarmila Bernathova

thanks :))

Kathleen Cazander


Carla van der Meer

Yummy! I will be making these this weekend. Thanks.