Dried lime tea (Chai noomi Basra)

April 9, 2013  •  Category:


This infusion is popular in Iraq; it is made by seeding the noomi Basra or dried limes and simmering the peels in water for 15 to 30 minutes; drain and sweeten. Apparently it helps with tummy aches and digestive issues. 

I did not have the patience of seeding the limes, I simply poked each in 3 places, dumped them in lots of water and simmered them for 15 minutes. I used 2 limes for a quart of water. I added sugar (or honey) to the infusion as it tends to taste sour. 

limo omani


16 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Rosa says:

    That is an interesting beverage. Surely very good.



  2. zerrin says:

    This sounds like a real home remedy too! Love the color! Never thought that limes could be dried and used in this way! Pomegranate molasses could be a good addition to sweeten this incredible drink as well! Thank you Joumana for introducing it to me!

  3. Susan says:

    What a beautiful color and gorgeous glass. I love the flavor of limes and always have one or two in my refrigerator.

  4. Velva says:

    I love the simplicity of this infusion. This makes me rethink when I buy limes. There are times when I don’t use them fast enough and they dry out, then I throw them out. Now, I can stop and be more creative and not waste them.

    As always, beautiful.


  5. Amy Tong says:

    Oh…never heard of this drink before. But if it’s a natural way to help tummy aches, I prefer this over pills, any time. 🙂 So, how do you dry the limes? Do you just let them dry out naturally at room temperature?

    • Zainab says:

      Well you can buy them pre-dried from any Turkish or arabic store they sell them in black and yellow I think the black ones taste better

  6. Catofstripes says:

    That looks good. Thanks for this and the rest of the blog, I enjoy reading it.

  7. Tom | Tall Clover says:

    Hi Joumana, I make an orange infused ‘tea’ by simmering orange peels and their zest in a simple sugar syrup, then by adding a tablespoon of that to a cup of warm water. Subtle but lovely.

  8. Oui, Chef says:

    Dried lime sounds amazing, have you ever dried your own?

  9. seeds says:

    I worked with Iraqi police for some time in Iraq, they made Basra lime tea on a regular basis. I was told the reason for removing the seeds is that the seeds will make the tea more sour and bitter. It is worth the work to smash the limes and just pick out the seeds, takes only a little time to do. The drink is hard to beat.

  10. ThanksBasra says:

    OH MY GOD THIS IS AMAZING, the smell is incredible, gosh addictive.

  11. Dennis says:

    Having lived in the Middle East for many years and eight of them in Iraq I took to admiring the kindness of my Iraqi hosts..
    At one State Organization I used to go to the Numi basrah was always brewed for their English visitor.at a moments notice.
    The Director General would always clap his hands and command ” Jibe chaiat mah ha Mr William–then Numi Basrah??
    Min fadlik Yes please !

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