black lime tea

//Lovely to be able to share zesty offering from colleague and farmer Zeenath Hasan. This text just one element that arose out of their performative dinner keynote at our recently held Groundings conference. Thank you Zeenath!

How to make black lime tea:

Make a tea-time date with your Iraqi neighbour.

Blanch a hatful of lime in salted, boiling hot water for as long as it takes to scrub your hands. Scrubbing duration: Hygiene level -Covid.

Dunk the lime in an ice bath for as long as it takes you to walk from the sauna, dip into the winter bay, rinse off and get back into the sauna.

Wipe limes dry.

Now you have two choices.

The one involves the sun, the other a combination of sun and oven.

When drying with the sun, place limes on a rack on an indoor surface warmed by sunlight. Depending on surrounding temperatures, this process takes between 2 to 3 months. Exercise fingertips daily by turning limes at least once a day.

When drying with combination of sun and oven, place limes in warm oven at 70C for upto 2 to 5 days. To thwart reliance on electricity, place limes in warm oven after making dinner and place them in sunlight.

The limes are done when ping-pong ball light, sounds hollow when tapped with knuckles and the insides are dry and flaky. You will know by cutting open one of the ready ones.

Get the lowdown on Limo-ki-Chai from your neighbour over high tea with shortbreads.

(Zeenath Hasan, Dec 2022)