Black Lemons

Black Lemons, or Loomi, are a Great Addition to Many Dishes

Whole loomi for sale in market in Manama, Bahrain
Theinfo/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0

Black lemons are a popular ingredient in Persian cooking as well as some Arabic regions, especially Kuwait and Iraq. Contrary to popular belief, black lemons are not lemons at all—they are actually limes! Black lemons are called loomi in the Middle East. In the store, they are sold under the name of black lemon, dried limes, and in gourmet or ethnic grocers, as loomi. You can also buy it in ground form.

If you have ever seen a black lemon, you know that they look unappealing, to say the least. They are small and can range from a brownish-gray color to black. They are made by boiling fresh limes and left to sun-dry. The result is a tangy, earthy flavor that is unique and delicious!