Dried lime

Dried, ground black Persian limes
Whole loomi for sale in market in Manama, Bahrain

Dried lime (also known as: black lime;[1] noomi basra (Iraq);[2] limoo amani (Iran); loomi (Oman)[3]) is a lime that has lost its water content, usually after having spent a majority of their drying time in the sun. They are used whole, sliced or ground, as a spice in Middle Eastern dishes. Originating in the Persian Gulf -- hence the Persian name limoo amani (Omani limes) and Iraqi name noomi basra (lemon from Basra) -- dried limes are popular in cookery across the Middle East.


Dried limes are used to add a sour flavor to dishes, through a process known as souring.[4] In Persian cuisine, they are used to flavor stews and soups.[5] Across the Persian Gulf, they are used cooked with fish, whereas in Iraq they are added to almost all dishes and stuffing.[3] Also, they're made into a warm drink called Hamidh (sour). Powdered dried lime is also used as an ingredient in Persian Gulf-style baharat (a spice mixture which is also called kabsa or kebsa). It is a traditional ingredient of Arabic and Persian cooking.


Dried limes are strongly flavored. They taste sour and citrusy like a lime but they also taste earthy and somewhat smoky and lack the sweetness of fresh limes. Because they are preserved they also have a slightly bitter, fermented flavor, but the bitter accents are mainly concentrated in the lime's outer skin and seeds.

See also


  1. Mallos, Tess (2007). Middle Eastern Cooking. VT, USA: Periplus Editions. p. 16. ISBN 9780794650346.
  2. Ayelet's Comfort (2015). "What is Noomi Basra?". Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  3. 1 2 Basan, Ghillie (2007). Middle Eastern Kitchen. NY, USA: Hippocrene Books Inc. p. 78. ISBN 9780781811903.
  4. Butcher, Sally (2012). "Legumes and Pulses". Veggiestan: A Vegetable Lover's Tour of the Middle East. London, UK: Pavilion Books. ISBN 9781909108226.
  5. Shafia, Louisa. The New Persian Kitchen. CA, USA: Ten Speed Press. p. 10. ISBN 9781607743576.
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