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Oct 20, 2013 11:36 PM

Omani lemons in Philly area?

Making a Persian recipe that calls for them. I saw preserved lemons in Whole Foods Jenkintown last week, but naturally, they were out of them as was the Whole Foods in Plymouth Meeting (they called for me) and also Devon, which I called. I'm assuming Omani and preserved are the same. I guess I can make the dish without them, but I am disappointed as I had planned to make the dish based on having seen them in Whole Foods last week.

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  1. DiBruno Bros on S. 9th St usually has a barrel of preserved lemons in the display with their olives.

    1 Reply
    1. re: carnicero

      Thanks. Wish I had known last week when I was in Dibrunos on Chestnut St., to look. Who knew Whole Foods would be out of them.

    2. While preserved lemons may make a good substitute, they are definitely not the same thing as Omani. Omani are dried black limes which have a different flavor. What dish are you making? Honestly, when I'm out, I either squeeze some fresh lemon or even use some bottled lemon juice, so preserved lemon would work ok too, but it's not necessary.

      3 Replies
      1. re: sherrib

        I am trying for the first time a Persion Beef and Yellow Split Pea stew from Epicurious

        1. re: middleagedfoodie

          No need for preserved lemons for that one. Honestly, I don't like that stew sour. My personal preference is to either use the Omani or skip the sourness altogether. I personally wouldn't even substitute with lemon juice. Try it without, you can always try a tiny bit with lemon juice to see of you like it and then add lemon juice to the pot if you do. Again, none of the substitutions will give it the same flavor that the Omani would, but that doesn't mean you won't end up with a delicious dish. My mom uses no Omani in hers, while my mil definitely uses too much (she overpowers this stew with Omani.). Myself, I would use a little Omani for that flavor, but again, don't like this dish sour as the tomato sauce gives it enough acidity.

          1. re: middleagedfoodie

            I agree that that is not the same thing as preserved lemons. I haven't heard them called Omani before, but dried lemons are common in persian cooking (I think they are actually some kind of lime). I love those sour stews and have made something similar. I have a bag of dried lemons I picked up in Kalyustan's in NYC. They are small, very hard dried whole fruit. I don't know anywhere to get them around here, but you can mail order from Kalyustan's.