Also known as: Nimboo, Yelumicham Pazham, Nimma Sahan
Description: Lemon is a small evergreen tree native to Asia. Although the juicy yellow flesh is a little too sour to eat on its own, its citrus fragrance and tartness means it's wonderful combined with all manner of ingredients and dishes, from the sweet to the savoury. The bright yellow skin can be used as well, when zested. Look for unblemished, firm lemons that feel heavy for their size and have no tinges of green. Avoid very pale lemons, as they are older, and will contain less juice.
Commonly used in: Lemon juice, rind, and zest are used in a wide variety of food and drink. Lemon juice is used to make lemonade, soft drinks, and cocktails and as a short-term preservative on certain foods that turn brown after being sliced, such as apples, bananas and avocados. It is used in marinades for fish and to tenderize meat. Lemon juice and rind are used to make marmalade, lemon liqueur and to add flavor to baked goods, puddings, rice and other dishes. Lemon slices and rind are used as a garnish for food and drinks and to make pickle in South India. Preserved lemons are a part of Moroccan cuisine.
Health benefit: Lemons are used in Indian traditional medicines, Siddha medicine and Ayurveda. The low pH of the juice makes it antibacterial. Lemon oil may be used in aromatherapy.