محفوظ الليمون (Moroccan Preserved Lemons)

Funny how tastes change. When I was a kid I used absolutely hate lemons but now I just can’t get enough of them. I even squeeze it onto pizza (my Italian friends think it is blasphemous)…hehe

The humble lemon gets completely transformed in this recipe. The flavour intensifies and interestingly, when using, the pulp is discarded and only the rind is used in recipes. Make sure you rinse it in cold water before using, otherwise it may be too salty.

Traditionally, the lemons are cut in quarters but not all the way to the bottom. They are then, opened up like a flower, stuffed with salt and spices and then pushed into the jar. Personally, I prefer to cut the lemons into wedges and then stuff them into the jar so that more lemon goodness can fit inside. Also, many Moroccan recipes don’t use any of the spices but I prefer it with the spices as it gives them a slightly different dimension.

Ingredients

Lemons (how ever many fit + extra to top it up with lemon juice)

Coarse salt

Cinnamon sticks

Cumin seeds

Peppercorns

Whole cloves

Dried cayenne chillies

Bay leaves

Method

1 Sterilize the Mason jar (or any other receptacle of your choosing). To do this, boil the jars and lids in hot water for at least 10 minutes. Take out with tongs (sterilize these too) and dry with a clean towel.

2 Cut the lemons into wedges and roll in salt.

3 Assembly: Fill the bottom of the Mason jar with 1 cm layer of salt. Add lemon wedges rolled in salt to the jar, pack down and add a few of the spices and another layer of salt. Repeat the process until no more lemons fit. Add a bit more salt and top up with lemon juice. Cover completely and close.

4 Store in a cool dark place for at least one month. For the first couple of days turn the jar upside down to mix everything well. After a few turns you needn’t touch it again until they are ready to use.

Once opened, it is recommended to store in the fridge. They last for months.

Preserved lemons

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2 thoughts on “محفوظ الليمون (Moroccan Preserved Lemons)

  1. Pingback: Koirat as-sardin (Sardine Balls in a tomato sauce) | frightfulkitchen

  2. Pingback: Moroccan-Style Baked Lamb | frightfulkitchen

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