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Loomi


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33 replies to this topic

#1 kjohn

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Posted 23 July 2002 - 05:58 PM

Anybody have a good recipe for loomi? I'm referring to the beverage.

#2 Suvir Saran

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Posted 23 July 2002 - 06:30 PM

I had three large glass full yesterday... It is delicious.
Will post a recipe for you in the next day or so. Will make some and measure it out..

#3 kjohn

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Posted 23 July 2002 - 06:31 PM

Excellent. I'm batting a thousand today!

#4 Suvir Saran

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Posted 25 July 2002 - 11:49 AM

K,

Here is roughly the easy way to prepare loomi. I have loomi (dry limes form Iraq most commonly, but who knows from where they are imported these days) from California. A Syrian friend has a source they use for them and I get it their courtesy. Sahadi in Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn carries loomi. I am sure they are just as good.

As for most Middle-Eastern drinks, you have to use your own judgement for sugar and intensity of flavor. The recipe below is only a starting point. Add more loomi or sugar as you think fit.

8 Loomi Lemons
1/2 cup or more to taste, sugar
1 gallon water

Add a gallon of water to loomi in a non-reactive pan. Bring to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes, turn gas off and cool.
Strain and then add the sugar. Let sugar dissolve at room temperature.
Taste for sugar and chill.
Serve chilled with ice cubes.


Note: You can also leave the loomi soaking in the gallon of water overnight. Bring to a boil, turn gas off and strain and add sugar. But the recipe above can be used when making it in a hurry.

Also, chop the loomi into small pieces using a mortar and pestle. This brings out the flavor and sourness. In old days I am told grandmas would use their hands to crush the loomi as they soaked in the water.

#5 Varmint

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Posted 25 July 2002 - 11:57 AM

Um, guys, I'm not familiar with loomi, but how does it differ from lemonade?
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#6 kjohn

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Posted 25 July 2002 - 03:09 PM

The loomi has a very different flavor, it's almost like tea.

#7 Suvir Saran

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Posted 25 July 2002 - 03:17 PM

As the limes age they get very dark and the flavor changes. It oxidises some. It becomes more woody. And the end product, the loomi lemonade is dark in color and very different in taste from your ordinary lemonade.

K sums it up very well in finding it similar to tea. I did not think in those lines, but yes, it is more like iced-tea than lemonade.

There is no better drink to have on a hot sultry day. Day before yesterday when NYC was hot and miserable, loomi saved me from getting all angst ridden because of the heat.

It is wort every effort to procure loomi limes and making this drink in the summer. But those like me would be drinking it all year long.

#8 kjohn

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Posted 08 September 2002 - 05:02 PM

Thanks again Suvir. I picked up the limes at Kalusyan and made some this weekend. Tasted great.

#9 Suvir Saran

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Posted 08 September 2002 - 05:23 PM

Thanks again Suvir. I picked up the limes at Kalusyan and made some this weekend. Tasted great.

I was there last week.. and the sales associate refused to sell me the Loomi saying they were not fresh. Lucky you that you got some fresh ones. My supply is almost over. But luckily so is the summer.. almost!

#10 anil

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Posted 10 September 2002 - 01:32 AM

Um, guys, I'm not familiar with loomi, but how does it differ from lemonade?

Not really - However, that said; loomi limes are different than the garden variety used in lemonade. Lemonade is straight sugar,water. In loomi you do cook it a bit , add salt or peppery spice to inhance the sweet base of the sugar.
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#11 rstarobi

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Posted 21 October 2002 - 03:47 PM

Moustache Pitza in New York's East Village (10th St. between 1st and A) serves Loomi - had it last afternoon for the first time. Interesting flavor - not as tart as I would have expected for a citrus drink. I enjoyed it, but I'm not sure it's going to be a favorite of mine.
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#12 Suvir Saran

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Posted 21 October 2002 - 04:29 PM

Moustache Pitza in New York's East Village (10th St. between 1st and A) serves Loomi - had it last afternoon for the first time.  Interesting flavor - not as tart as I would have expected for a citrus drink.  I enjoyed it, but I'm not sure it's going to be a favorite of mine.

Moustache in West Village (Bedford Street) makes it perfectly. I love it. But again, it is an acquired taste. It also is most amazing in the summer. It is a great restorative and also a drink that will liven up a tired and exhausted palate.

#13 Jason Perlow

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Posted 26 October 2002 - 12:07 PM

Its definitely not an Indian thing, right? I went into a Indian grocery today, asked for loomis, and they thought I was nuts.

EDIOT: Did a web search, its from Iraq and Oman. I'll check the International Food Warehouse then.
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#14 Suvir Saran

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Posted 26 October 2002 - 02:23 PM

Its definitely not an Indian thing, right? I went into a Indian grocery today, asked for loomis, and they thought I was nuts.

EDIOT: Did a web search, its from Iraq and Oman. I'll check the International Food Warehouse then.

Loomis came to India from Iraq. And we paid and arm and a leg for them. Expensive in India, scarce in the US, if you go searching for good quality. I learned something new today (that they also come from Omman), good news, maybe Omman can supply more. I know ever since the Gulf War, my Iraqi friends have had a hard time getting them here.. and with time the quality has gone down. I rely on Iraqi friends to order them and get them for me....I am told there is a company in California that they use.

#15 Suvir Saran

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Posted 30 May 2003 - 08:15 AM

Dried loomi lemons are now available at Foods of India in NYC.

The quality of the dired lemons is superb. Sahadis has them but most often they are old and dirty. I have been often told by the sales staff not to purchase. It is sad, for I have had to wait a long time to make Loomi, for I feel badly about taking them from the neighborhood restaurant that has been most kind to share some with me from time to time.

It was exciting to find out that Foods of India had them, and now seeing their quality, I was even more elated.

They ship around the country and most of the Loomi they have gets shipped to California. The owners says he has never understood what people do with it there. Perhaps make Loomi? Or is there something else one prepares using dried brownish lemons???

Foods of India
121 Lexington Avenue
New York City, NY

Tel: (212) 683 4419

Proprietor: Arun Kumar Sinha

#16 Sweet Willie

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Posted 03 August 2003 - 07:28 PM

Um, guys, I'm not familiar with loomi, but how does it differ from lemonade?

:biggrin: kind of what I was thinking as well.

I appreciate the description of what makes it different though.

Any Chicago area markets that may carry these?

#17 Suvir Saran

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 08:21 AM

Um, guys, I'm not familiar with loomi, but how does it differ from lemonade?

:biggrin: kind of what I was thinking as well.

I appreciate the description of what makes it different though.

Any Chicago area markets that may carry these?

Taste, color, flavor and smell make it different.

You can order it from Foods Of India. They ship across the US. I think in this thread, their address and number are mentioned.

#18 marlena spieler

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 11:36 AM

Foods of India on lexington is a wonderful store!

i get my loomi wherever i can find it, so to speak: london, california, and foods of india! i had former inlaws who used it to simmer with lamb and lentils. yum.

sad note: on my last trip to kaluystans i bought a bag of pozole and when i got it home, little worms were wriggling about the package. the time before it was.....i think rice. anyhow something grainy. i still love the place, but won't be buying grains etc there if foods of india has it instead!
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#19 marlena spieler

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 11:38 AM

Foods of India on lexington is a wonderful store!

i get my loomi wherever i can find it, so to speak: london, california, and foods of india! i had former inlaws who used it to simmer with lamb and lentils. yum.

sad note: on my last trip to kaluystans i bought a bag of pozole and when i got it home, little worms were wriggling about the package. the time before it was.....i think rice. anyhow something grainy. i still love the place, but won't be buying grains etc there if foods of india has it instead!
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#20 Suvir Saran

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 09:53 PM

Foods of India on lexington is a wonderful store!

i get my loomi wherever i can find it, so to speak: london, california5{ia! i had former inlaws who used it to simmer with lamb and lentils. yum.

sad note: on my last trip to kaluystans i bought a bag of pozole and when i got it home, little worms were wriggling about the package. the time before it was.....i think rice. anyhow something grainy. i still love the place, but won't be buying grains etc there if foods of india has it instead!

I have had the same problems with Kalustyans. Not with loomi or pozole... but with lentils....

Also cumin seeds I bought from them had more stems than the seed. It was very disheartening.

Foods of India is somewhat more expensive, but very clean and all ingredients very fresh. Mrs. Fat Guy, Fat Guy and myself once spent an hour or two there and found ourselves quite amazed at the clean shelves and shelves of spices and ingredients from India and elsewhere.

I make sour yellow lentils and have mostly cooked with a whole lemon, and once with one loomi. It was quite tasty... Makes me want to try it again, I may have to document the recipe for posterity.

How do you make your lamb and lentils??? They sound very good.

#21 Suvir Saran

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 09:54 PM

Belated welcome to you Marlena. :smile:

#22 marlena spieler

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 11:03 AM

thanks, suvir!

i once spent an entire afternoon in foods of india, too. i was with the food writer julie sahni, and oh oh oh did we have fun going through each and every lentil and grain and spice discussing the good things we could do with it. also the owner, please forgive me i forget his name, is quite a character! it was like a whole wonderful lifetime spent in that shop that afternoon! and afterwards we went to idipi palace a few doors down for idli-sambaar and other goodies.


back to the loomi, though...the funny thing is that this dish is a culinary memory for me, a dish that i loved very very much when my former relatives made it, and i loved that time of my life. and afterwards...well, its not quite the same. i think i made it once, and never could bring myself to make it again. it was basically: lamb stewed to a shredded consistency, with red lentils, the loomi was simmered along with it, probably pricked to give off its tangy perfumed citrus flavour...they called it shami kebab, but the shami kebab i have eaten made by pakistanis is made into patties...though the inside does taste very similar to the shami that my family once made. sometimes i think i'll just go out and get a chunk of lamb and a bunch of other ingredients (I'm sure cilantro was an ingredient and even if it wasn't, it would be in my shami, big-time) and experiment---i already have a big bag of loomi just for the occasion. sometimes too i simmer a couple of loomi with chicken to make chicken soup; i add a little tomatoes, as well.


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#23 Suvir Saran

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Posted 12 August 2003 - 08:20 AM

i once spent an entire afternoon in foods of india, too. i was with the food writer julie sahni, and oh oh oh did we have fun going through each and every lentil and grain and spice discussing the good things we could do with it. also the owner, please forgive me i forget his name, is quite a character! it was like a whole wonderful lifetime spent in that shop that afternoon! and afterwards we went to idipi palace a few doors down for idli-sambaar and other goodies.

Mr. Sinha is the owner of Foods of India. I think his name is Arun Kumar Sinha. I never call him by his name, simply call him Sinha Sahab (the latter word being an honorific for a person older in age and stature).

He is largely and wonderfully entertaining and genuine and charming. And certainly with a large dose of eccentric thrown into the mix.

What I love most about his person is his deep love and respect for hygiene and it makes his store a treat for me to shop in.

#24 marlena spieler

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Posted 12 August 2003 - 11:14 AM

[quote name='Suvir Saran' date='Aug 12 2003, 08:20 AM'] . [/QUOTE]
Mr. Sinha is the owner of Foods of India. ....I think his name is Arun Kumar Sinha. I never call him.
He is largely and wonderfully entertaining and genuine and charming. And certainly with a large dose of eccentric thrown into the mix.
[/quote]
yes, sign me up for the Mr Sinha fan club, too! and i love his wall calendar from the animal hospital in india (i think his brother is a vet, or runs the hospital, or just likes animals).

i'm off to new york maybe later this week, so in my balancing act of should i or shouldn't i (go, that is), perhaps a visit to foods of india will topple me into the should camp (the other part is that my daughter lives a few blocks away, i think that is the most important ingredient).

(oh, by the way, if you ever get tempted to go to the french restaurant which is right nearby on lexington, which has a sunday accordion brunch: DO NOT DO IT! It was weird, i'm telling you. Just walk past, no matter how much you love accordions, and i DO love accordions).

by the way, back to far eastern spices and lentils and grains, i'm really into moth beans. What do YOU do with them? I've eaten them in posh restaurants (grammercy tavern, union square) and in indian kitchens, and have played around with them myself. also the little rice beans, too, are wonderful. I love these things: they look like grains, and taste like beans!
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#25 Suvir Saran

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Posted 12 August 2003 - 11:41 AM

I make stews, rice and bean casserole type stuff and add them into vegetable soup.

#26 Hassouni

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 06:15 PM

I'm not sure who calls them Loomi, but in Iraqi Arabic they're called Numi Basra (lime of Basra), and in Iran (where they're also used a lot) they're called Limu Omani (Omani lime). Iraqis and Iranians use them a lot for cooking as well as drinking. You can find them in any Persian store under the latter name and "dried lime" in English (you can buy them online here, among many other places).

The drink, in Iraq known as Chai numi Basra, is made either by steeping the whole limes as you would any other tea, or by crushing the limes to remove the seeds (which make it very bitter). For a smallish teapot I'd say about 2 limes should do. I tend to prefer the crush-and-remove seeds approach. It's very, very nice, with a unique flavor not found in anything else, sour, slightly astringent, and, for lack of a better word, "exotic." It definitely needs sugar to balance the sourness, but this is one of my favorite tisanes.

Incidentally, the Numi Tea company, (full disclosure, started and run by my cousins) was named after this drink. To my knowledge they produce the only bagged version of this, which they call Dry Desert Lime. I use that when I'm feeling lazy, though making it from scratch produces a more complex tea.

#27 nikkib

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 06:18 PM

I love numi tea!
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#28 Hassouni

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 06:23 PM

Family biases aside, I do think they have the best bagged teas. Unfortunately they seem to be phasing out their conventional loose tea in favor of various flavored pu-erhs.

#29 Hassouni

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 06:25 PM

Oh I forgot to say that Iraqis typically drink this hot. It is nice iced though.

#30 threestars

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 12:04 AM

When I read the thread "loomi" I thought it is some sort of a soup. Never tried this drink but it sounds great and easy to prepare.