10 thin skinned lemons
1 1/2 cups (480/16 1/2 oz) rock salt
1 L (32fl oz) boiling water
juice of 1 lemon
8 cardamom pods
2 small red chillies, optional
2 bay leaves, optional
olive oil, to cover
Alternatively, you could put these into 2 x 1L (32fl oz) jars.
Scrub the lemons well and soak in water for about 3 days, changing the water daily (this disperses the gas and acids contained in the fruit). Remove from the water and cut four pockets end to end in to each lemon, being careful not to slice right through.
Holding a lemon over a bowl (to catch any juice and salt), fill the pockets generously with rock salt and arrange in a 2L (64fl oz) preserving jar. Repeat with remaining lemons.
Cover the lemons with boiling water. Add the leftover salt and juice, lemon juice and cardamom pods.
Chillies and bay leaves may also be added for flavour and decoration, if you like.
Leave the jar for a few minutes to ensure that most of the air bubbles are released. Pour over a thin layer of olive oil to cover the surface. Seal tightly, and store for at least 1 month prior to use.
Correctly preserved lemons can be stored for years.