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
- Serves 4 as a meal, 8 as a side dish
onions, diced small
oil (coconut works well, or other oil with a high smoking point)
masoor dal (red lentils)
dried limes, pierced several times with a fork or knife
toasted ground cumin
toasted ground coriander seeds
chopped cilantro (optional)
- Heat oil on medium heat.
- Fry onions until brown and caramelized, stirring often.
- Add in all spices (except limes) and toast in oil until fragrant (1-2 minutes, don't let it burn).
- Add rice and lentils and toast briefly -- 2-3 minutes -- stirring often.
- Deglaze the pan with water or stock and scrape up all the brown bits.
- Add the rest of the liquid and the dried limes.
- Cover and let simmer 30-45 minutes until the lentils are soft and broken down.
- 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.
- Stir in chopped cilantro and serve hot.