Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Preserved Lemons (L'Hamd Markhad)

Wandering along the souqs of Marrakesh, you'll likely come across piles or jars of glistening lemons.These beautifully displayed preserves are the cornerstone of Moroccan cuisine.Preserved lemons or l'hamd markhad as they are commonly known are an indispensable ingredient in all manner of dishes from salads to tagines, imparting a sweet yet subtly sour taste.Lemon preservation is usually done in the Spring when lemons are at their height of ripeness and sweetness.Moroccans use the smallish, thin-skinned lemons known as doqq or busera.This is a fairly easy recipe to prepare but like most pickled recipes,it takes time till its ready to be consumed.Organic Meyer or Eureka's can be used in this recipe in place of the doqq or busera.


1 glass jar with a tight fitting lid
course sea salt
Small organic Meyer or Eureka lemons or other smallish thin-skinned lemon
lemon juice of 2 lemons

Safi Mixture (Optional):
1 stick cinnamon
3 cloves
1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
1/2 Tbsp. black peppercorns

1.Cut each lemon into quarters but not all the way through.Stuff salt into the lemon then close it and place   it in the jar. Repeat.Keep pressing down the lemons with a wooden spoon until they are evenly packed  and some of their juice is released.

2. At this point, if using, add the Safi spices then the lemon juice.Sprinkle with more course salt.

3.Close jar tightly and store in a cool,dry place for 3-4 weeks.If a white film appears on top of jar, don't worry this is normal and can be rinsed off before use.

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