Chic African Culture Africa Factbook

Pickled Lemon Seasoning

Pickled Lemon Seasoning

Fresh lemons are washed, sliced covered in salt for at least 24 hours, then drained and mixed with spices to cook in Tagines. Making Msir is easy and adds a unique flavor to meals but careful, just a small amount of the pickled lemon seasoning goes a long way.

Msir North African Pickled Lemon Seasoning

Pickled lemons use for seasoning food


1/2 cup sea salt

4 large lemons



Cut four slits on equal sides into the lemons, but do not slice all the way through. Pack the sea salt into the lemon segments and pack the lemons as tightly as possible into a quart size mason jar. Fill with water and seal jar properly.

The cone-shaped lid of the tagine traps steam and returns the condensed liquid to the pot
The cone-shaped lid of the tagine traps steam and returns the condensed liquid to the pot.
Preserved lemons are not only pretty to look at but also make an awesome food dish. 

To use your preserved lemon rinse them under cold water to remove the excess salt then chop them up in your favorite recipes such as rice and chicken and there you have the perfect meal. 

Preserved lemon is an intense lemon taste and salty taste so you will not need to add any additional salt to your recipes. 

One of our favorite ways to use preserved lemons is to make a salad dressing; all you need to do is chop pieces of your homemade preserved lemons into a pre-made salad dressing and there you have it. You can also sprinkle preserved lemon on grilled fish or meat. 

On the other hand, maybe you prefer vegetarian dishes. In that case, take your favorite pre-packaged hummus recipe and mix in a half a tablespoon of preserved lemon and watch a completely new flavor dimension open up.  

Do you want to keep it simple then add chopped preserved lemon sautéed in olive oil with garlic and top with on your favorite pasta. Our favorite way to use preserved lemon is in Moroccan chicken tagine. This is certainly one of the best-known dishes that use preserved lemons. Here is our recipe below for the best chicken tagine with preserved lemons:

Chicken Tagine with Pickled Preserved Lemons


1/2 or 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces and skin removed

4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4" thick planks

4 large potatoes, cut into 1/2" slices or wedges

1 large onion, sliced into thick rings

1 small or medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons ginger

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled (optional)

1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 cup water

Small bunch of coriander, tied

A handful of red or green olives, rinsed

1/2 of a preserved lemon, cut into quarters and seeds removed


Pour enough of the olive oil into the tagine to coat the bottom. Layer the onion rings across the bottom of the tagine, and arrange the carrots on top of the onions. Add the chicken to the center of the tagine, and place the coriander on top. Arrange the potatoes around the chicken, and then distribute the chopped onions, garlic and spices over everything. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the chicken and potatoes. Add the water to the tagine, and place over medium heat.

Use a diffuser if you like, but as long as the heat is kept low, a traditional tagine should be safe on a burner. Cover the tagine, and bring the dish to a simmer. (Be patient, it takes a good 10 minutes for the tagine to heat up to this point.) Adjust the heat to medium-low or low, checking occasionally to be sure that you can still hear the tagine simmering. Tagine is done when potatoes are fork-tender, about 10 minutes. You can use a stew pot instead of a tagine, just add an extra 1 cup of broth to the recipe. Serve over cooked rice or couscous.

Did you know? African countries which lemons are exported are Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia; around 75% of the lemons grown are locally consumed Lemons are a fruit that is best known for a sour taste and it is used in various cuisines and desserts around the world. 

The juice of a lemon is about 6% citric acid, which gives it a sour taste the distinctive sour taste of lemon juice makes it a key ingredient in drinks, and food lemons contain high amounts of calcium magnesium vitamin C and potassium. 

It also contains small amounts of vitamin A and iron. North African Ancient Egyptians also ate lemons and consumed lemon juice to protect themselves against a variety of poisons since they have strong antibacterial antiviral properties. ♥

More economical easy lunch and dinner recipes to make right now so you never have to eat or prepare a boring meal again.

  1. Curried Tanzanian Coconut Okra Recipe
  2. Frikkadelle an Afrikaner dish of meatballs
  3. Senegalese Chicken Vermicelli
  4. Chadian Steamed Honey Cassava Buns
  5. Cameroon Smoked Bonga Fish Stew

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