Across the Middle East and North Africa, people have preserved lemons and limes for centuries in order to add their tangy flavours out of season.
Preserved lemons, preserved limes, and dried black limes are each achieved through different preservation methods.
To create preserved lemons and preserved limes, whole fruits are typically cut into quarters or halves and then packed in a mixture of salt and their own juices.
This mixture ferments for several weeks to months, yielding a complex, tangy, and salty flavour. The preserved fruits are used to infuse a variety of dishes with a vibrant, zesty kick. The softened rind, which becomes edible during the preservation process, adds a bright and distinct citrusy punch to tagines, salads, and rice dishes.
Dried black limes, on the other hand, undergo a different process. These are whole limes that have been boiled in saltwater and then left to dry.
During this process, the limes turn dark, and their flavours become more concentrated.
Dried black limes have a smoky, earthy taste with hints of fermented funk. They are often used whole or crushed in stews, soups, and rice dishes, imparting an intense citrusy and savoury essence. In fact, it will be a great ingredient for your Bahraini Tikka.