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Lime Powder, Persian

This powder is made from dried black limes, and is used in much of the Middle East. It is particularly important in Persian cuisine, where it is used to give sour notes to the often floral and aromatic spices which are prevalent. Lime powder’s flavour is strong and complex; while it is sour and citrussy, it is also earthy and somewhat smoky, and it lacks the sweetness of fresh lime. It is used in fish stews around the Persian Gulf, and also works very well in bean and lentil dishes. Its citrus nature means it matches well with chicken, particularly when used as an ingredient in a marinade. A couple of teaspoons added to the cooking liquid for rice works wonderfully, and it can also be used as a substitute for sumac, which has a surprisingly similar flavour, and for the preserved lemons commonly used in North African cooking.

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