Life Depriving You Of Lemons? 5 Alternatives That Can Do Wonders To Your Dishes

Apr24,2024


Sour and tangy, lemons are a staple in Indian kitchens across seasons. You can add its unique flavour to everything, from baked goods to salad dressing to lentil soups. Apart from flavour, lemons also add acidity and sweetness to dishes. Because it has a low pH level, it is one of the most acidic natural ingredients available in the market. However, as ubiquitous as they are, it is possible that you run out of lemons when you need them for a quick dish. In those times, don’t get sour. In fact, we have come to your rescue by preparing a list of 5 substitutes that you can use in times when life doesn’t give you lemons!

Also Read: Spruce It Up: 5 Easy Hacks To Clean Kitchen With Lemon Juice

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Oranges can be a great alternative to lemons.
Photo Credit: iStock

5 Lemon Alternatives That Actually Work

1. Oranges

Oranges, whether sweet or sour, belong to the citrus family meaning they can be used for savoury and sweet dishes. You can add orange zest to add a fresh flavour or make a dish visually appealing. Note that oranges are much sweeter than lemons and do not deliver the same tart flavour, but they do have a similar acidic effect in food. To use oranges instead of lemon, use an equal amount of orange juice and add more if necessary!

2. Vinegar

White vinegar can act as a great substitute if you are out of lemons to make your dishes. Vinegar has a similar acidic flavour as lemon. However, you will have to be careful with the amount of vinegar used in your dishes. Use vinegar in half the amount of lemon juice called for in the recipe and adjust its taste. Be mindful since vinegar has a stronger and more pronounced flavour, so start by adding a smaller amount and add more if needed.

3. White Wine

Yes, you read that right! White wine can be used as an alternative to lemon in your dishes. White wine works well in savoury dishes, thanks to its acidity. The taste of white wine adds a depth of flavour and brightness to dishes and also deglazes pans for sauces or soups. While using wine as a lemon substitute, add equal quantities to the amount of lemon juice specified in the recipe. If you don’t like alcohol, then fret not! Most of the alcohol in white wine will evaporate during the cooking process.

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4. Grapefruit Juice

Popular for its bitter-sweet taste, grapefruit is an excellent option if you are out of lemon. It does not add the sour flavour that lemon has but has citric acid that can mimic the tartness of its juice. While using this fruit juice as a lemon substitute, add the same amount of grapefruit juice as lemon to the dish as mentioned in the recipe. 

5. Yoghurt or Buttermilk

You can even use dairy products like yoghurt or buttermilk as a lemon substitute. These products add a tangy flavour and moistness to baked goods and marinades. Use plain yoghurt or buttermilk in equal quantities to the amount of lemon zest or juice called for in the recipe. 

Also Read: Summer Recipes: 6 Delightful Cooling Lemon Recipes To Try This Summer

Can you think of any other lemon alternative to use in your dishes? Let us know in the comments below!

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