Four Ways to Use Dried Limes

Limu omani are a staple of the Middle Eastern pantry. Here are some of our staff’s favorite ways to use them.

Limu omani (also traditionally known as dried limes, black limes, or Omani limes) are a workhorse in Middle Eastern cuisine, adding their fermented complexity to many of the region's soups and stews, including abgoosht. Here are a few ways the Cook's Illustrated editors suggest using them.

Enliven Seafood

The zest of dried limes can add a burst of flavor and aroma to fish and shrimp. Use a rasp-style grater to distribute the desired amount over the finished dish.

Flavor Black Tea

Dried limes are often steeped on their own in water to make a fragrant tea, but they can also enhance black teas such as English breakfast. Use a mortar and pestle to break one dried lime into large pieces. Bring 4 cups of water and the lime pieces to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Off the heat, add four black tea bags and steep for 4 minutes. Serve, adding honey to taste, if desired.

Make Dried Lime Sherbet

To embellish the tartness of classic citrus sherbet with a musty, earthy complexity, simmer five cracked dried limes in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes. Strain, and then whisk in 1 cup of sugar, ½ cup of heavy cream, 2 tablespoons of corn syrup, 2 tablespoons of mezcal (optional), and a pinch of xanthan gum (0.1 grams). Chill the mixture in the refrigerator, and then freeze it in an ice cream maker.

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