Persian dried lime soup

May  7, 2015
4 Ratings
  • Serves 4 as a meal, 8 as a side dish
Author Notes

Proper shorbat adas 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 by adding lime juice. —msmely

What You'll Need
  • 2 onions, diced small
  • 2 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
  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted ground coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 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 lime juice to your preference. You may remove the large dried lime pieces at this time if it is your preference.
  9. Stir in chopped cilantro and serve hot.
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1 Review

msmely May 7, 2015
Some adjustments:

1) You can make this extra decadent with coconut milk. Don't shake the can, scrape the coconut cream off the top and use that in place of the oil. Fry everything in coconut oil and add the rest of the liquid from the can with some of the stock.
2) If subbing for stock, try to include a lick of umami in the form of mushroom or veggie bouillon.
3) Other lentils will work just as well: toor, moong or urad dal will have similar color though the cooking times might vary slightly. Larger dal will be tasty but will require longer cooking times.
4) Similarly, other types of long grain rice will work, though liquid adjustments may be necessary for brown rice types.