Noomi basra (dried lime/lemon Omani) is used to give a pleasant tang to some dishes and to make delicious tea. It may be replaced by lime juice (1 tablespoon lime juice and 1 teaspoon grated lime rind for each dried lime). However, the genuine dried limes will give the dish a distinctive aroma and taste. They are dried naturally on the trees, and are imported from India and Oman through the port city of Basra in southern Iraq, and hence the name noomi Basra. Some of the recipes call for whole ones. In this case, they should be pricked with a pointed knife to allow cooking juices to penetrate. They can also be used crushed or ground (referred to in the recipes as ‘prepared noomi Basra’). Remember to remove the seeds before grinding, because they tend to add a bitter aftertaste.