When you’re a home cook, fewer things are more frustrating than being in the midst of food preparation and learning only then that you’re low on an ingredient or two. It’s worse if said ingredients are completely missing from your pantry.
There are instances, of course, where you can simply substitute the ingredient with another that has a similar taste, but it doesn’t always work so well. For example, lemons and limes have similar flavours, but sometimes using limes instead of lemons – and vice versa – would make the resulting dish taste different. This is particularly true if the fruit is a key ingredient. Fortunately, lime powder can be a great substitute for the actual fruit, but that’s not the only way to use the powder. Let’s take a look at a few other ways.
Flavouring Soups and Stews
In the Middle East, whole dried limes are added to stews and soups to make the dish taste a bit more complex, but in a subtle, albeit tart and tangy way. You can use lime powder in the same way, without having to go through the extra step of properly washing the dried limes and piercing them a few times with a knife or fork before adding them to the pot.
Given where dried limes were first used, lime powder is thus best paired with lamb. However, you can use it with chicken or fish, too, especially in light stews where the sour muskiness can help bring out the more subtle flavours.
Add Something New to Beans, Lentils, and Rice
Lime powder has an earthy enough flavour that can go well with lentils and beans, giving them a sour edge that nullifies the dull taste they sometimes wind up having. Add the powder to the sauce before pouring the beans or lentils over some nice, hot, freshly-cooked rice, and you’ll have a delicious and filling vegetarian dish.
You can also use lime powder to add a citrusy kick to plain basmati rice before pairing it with your favourite meat or veggie dishes. To start off, add half a teaspoon of the powder to the cooking liquid per cup of dry rice (e.g. 2 teaspoons of lime powder for 4 cups of dry rice). If it’s too much, lessen the powder, and add more if the flavour was too subtle for your tastebuds.
Make A Spice Rub
Spice rubs are a great way to tenderise and flavour meat and seafood before cooking or grilling, and you can use lime powder if you want to add some Middle Eastern flavour to your meat or want your seafood to have a somewhat brighter taste.
Since you’ll have to leave the meat alone for some time to let the flavours sink in, make sure not to use too much of the powder or you’ll end up with a dish that’s overwhelmingly sour or tart. You may also want to make a paste instead of a dry spice rub since the lime powder is slightly astringent and needs a little fat to balance it out.
As you can see, lime powder can be used in several different ways, and the best way to learn what dishes you can add it to is to experiment! If you’re wondering where to buy lime powder, try visiting this page to start your search.