Category Archives: drink

limoun al-omani, part 1

In this post I would like to begin the documentation of a culinary project to undertake the reverse-engineering of “Kurdish lemonade,” a chilled citrus beverage served at Babani’s Kurdish Restaurant in St. Paul, “the United State’s first Kurdish restaurant.” The drink at Babani’s is made not from fresh lemons, but dried limes (this much I know) and, despite the generic name, is very likeable. It is citric, tart and refreshing, but also tannic and kind of earthy. The sole recipe I managed to turn up that in any way involves what I already know making this drink must, is as follows:

Omani Lemon Tea

4 cups of water
5-6 whole dried Omani lemons (or Basri lemons, or black lemons)
2 large Tablespoons of honey
more sugar to taste, if desired

Open up the Omani lemons and remove the interiors, reserving the rinds. Boil them with the water and honey for 5 minutes. Strain and serve.


Omani lemons are actually limes, and in the Middle-east, and probably elsewhere as well, the lemon-lime distinction as enunciated in the commodities of the West does not seem to exist. There, limes are just another kind of lemon (and as such belong to something more like a lemon-lime continuum).

Omani lemons, or “black lemons” are limes that have been boiled in salt water and sun-dried. When the limes dessicate, the flesh within them turns black. In the image of the product below, the script, which is Farsi, reads “limoo omani.”




Filed under drink, middle-east

a nice cup of tea – Orwell

A Nice Cup of Tea
by George Orwell
Evening Standard, 12 January 1946

IF YOU look up ‘tea’ in the first cookery book that comes to hand you will probably find that it is unmentioned; or at most you will find a few lines of sketchy instructions which give no ruling on several of the most important points.

This is curious, not only because tea is one of the main stays of civilization in this country, as well as in Eire, Australia and New Zealand, but because the best manner of making it is the subject of violent disputes.

When I look through my own recipe for the perfect cup of tea, I find no fewer than 11 outstanding points. On perhaps two of them there would be pretty general agreement, but at least four others are acutely controversial. Here are my own 11 rules, every one of which I regard as golden:

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Filed under drink