From the Spice Cupboard: Loomi, aka Black Lime

Earlier today, we showed you our popcorn interpretation of the LOST smoke monster. It makes use of several dark-colored spices, including one that was new to us: loomi, sometimes called black lemon or black lime. It's indeed made from limes and it packs quite a sour punch.

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In their pre-ground state, black limes look like fresh limes that were left to sit around in a fruit bowl for, oh, about a year. They're completely black, shrunken and deflated. The actual process of making them isn't too far off.

Fresh limes are boiled in salt water and then left to sun dry. That's pretty much it.

The spice also has a few other common names: leimoon Basra, leimoon aswad and leimoon omani. It's popular in Persian dishes and in Iraq, Kuwait and Bahrain.

Look for loomi in the spice aisle at Middle Eastern markets.

Loomi Recipes
Loomi Tea from The Bad Girl's Kitchen
Murabyan from AMIDEAST
Machboos or Fooga from Recipe Zaar
Tibsi Samak bi Loomi (Red Snapper with Lime) from Pomegranates and Zaatar

Related: Seaweed Salad and Smork

(Images: Joanna Miller)