Limbu can be used to describe both limes and lemons, which are sour and acidic citrus fruits. Lemons are commonly yellow, while limes have a green outer peel. Both are an excellent source of vitamin C.
Vitamin C is important for the health of skin, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels, among other body tissues and systems. It prevents bleeding gums, plays a role in wound healing, and builds resistance by strengthening the immune system.
On average, one lime or lemon provides 20 kilocalories and has 20–30 milligrams of vitamin C, which represents at least 10 per cent of your daily requirement. Both have up to 2 grams of fibre per whole fruit (though it's typical for people to only have the juice).
Three things to do with Limbu
- Slice it: Take fresh sliced limbu, and add it to either hot or cold water to make limbu pani. Limeade and lemonade are other popular beverages made with limbu and added sugar. For variation, add some ginger and mint leaves.
- Squeeze it: Fresh squeezed limbu juice along with finely chopped green chillies can be used as a dressing for kachumber or sprouted moong (green lentil) salads. Limbu juice can be sprinkled on chaats, pohe, samosas, vegetable dishes and can be used for making sauces and chutneys (with mint or coriander, for example).
- Zest it: Use a zester, grater or vegetable peeler to remove the zest, which is the outer coloured part of the peel. The zest can be used to add flavour to both savoury and sweet dishes, or as a garnish to make foods more appealing.
Since vitamin C is easily destroyed when it comes in contact with air, light or heat, it is best to use limbu immediately after cutting it, and to add it to cooked foods immediately before serving, to preserve the vitamin C content.