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Lumi (Loomi or Loumi), Black Lime Powder or Persian Limes is an important Middle Eastern spice.

Lumi are whole dried sun-dried limes, which are also available ground down to a deep black-green powder. Lumi are 2½ - 4 cm in diameter (1 - 1½ inches). The Persian limes are picked, then boiled in salt water, before being dried out in the sun.

Lumi or Persian black limes are coloured from a light tan colour through to a very dark brown, which is almost black. Lumi have around 10 darker tan longitudinal stripes going from end to end.

Inside the broken black limes, there is a dark sticky pith that has a pungent citrus aroma. Lumi has a bittersweet flavour, often with a fermented over-ripe sweetness.

In the Middle East, dried limes are added whole to stews, pierced to infuse the flavours, or as a powder is used in recipes for fish, poultry and lamb stews. Lumi combines really well with allspice,cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and pepper.

Further reading

  • Hemphill, I., Hemphill, K. (2014) The Spice and Herb Bible, Robert Rose. ISBN: 9780778804932.
  • Norman, J. (2015) Herbs & Spices: The Cook's Reference, DK Publishing. ISBN: 9781465435989.