Persian dried lime soup

By • May 7, 2015 1 Comments

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Persian dried lime soup

Author Notes: A decidedly Iranian take on the typical middle eastern soup (shorbat adas) this version contains an abundance of an unforgettable ingredient, Persian dried limes, aka Limu Omani. These are limes briefly blanched in salt water, and then fermented/dried in the hot sun. You'll find them as golf-ball sized citrus bombs that will add a unique flavor to your meals. A staple of such Persian favorites as gormeh sabzi, this Ottolenghi favorite ingredient will turn your staple middle Eastern dishes into something unforgettable. There are two kinds, the smoked (black) and the unsmoked (yellow) kind. I wrote this soup with the yellow kind in mind, and if you use the black kind, you may end up adjusting acidity at the end to taste.msmely


Serves 6 as a meal, 12 as a side dish

  • 2 onions, sliced thin
  • 4 tablespoons oil (coconut works well, or other oil with a high smoking point)
  • 1 cup masoor dal (red lentils)
  • 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 4 dried limes, pierced several times with a fork or knife
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2-5 curry leaves (optional)
  • 8 cups chicken/vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
  1. Heat oil on medium heat.
  2. Fry onions until brown and caramelized, stirring often.
  3. Add in all spices (except limes) and toast in oil until fragrant (1-2 minutes, don't let it burn).
  4. Add rice and lentils and toast briefly -- 2-3 minutes -- stirring often.
  5. Deglaze the pan with water or stock and scrape up all the brown bits.
  6. Add the rest of the liquid and the dried limes.
  7. Cover and let simmer 30-45 minutes until the lentils are soft and broken down.
  8. Taste and add salt and pepper to your preference.
  9. Stir in chopped cilantro and serve hot.

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