It is an extract of Lime Leaves, Lime and Lemon Peal. Doing it with Alcohol is much easier but I know a lot of you don’t prefer alcohol so this is the alcohol free version.I hate those store bought Chemical Essence and artificial flavourings. Not only do they taste bad, but most of them smell nothing like the actual flavour.
When nature has given us so much natural flavour and colour, why not harness it!
It is a little bit of a process, but you do it, you’ll definitely love it!
This cannot be used in baked goodies as the high oven heat might turn it bitter. You can use it to dilute and brush on to your cakes, and in cold things like frosting, ice creams, mousse, cheesecakes etc.Now for the Recipe.
1. Lime Leaves- 4 handfuls (about 35 LARGE leaves or so) I used the mountain lime leaves (galgal- in Hindi)
2. Water- 1000 ml
3. Sugar- 1.5 cups
4. Lime peel- of 3 limes
5. Lemon Peel- of 3 lemons
Both the peels are to be taken without the white part.
6. Lemon Juice- 60 ml
7. Clear unflavored 40% alc. Vodka- 60 ml OR Vegetable glycerin – 60 ml
1. The strongest aroma of fresh lime leaves lie in their outermost skin. Therefore do not wash the leaves under running water. Gently dab each leaf clean with a damp towel or cotton.
2. Boil the water in a heavy pot. Once it but bubbles, add 2 handfuls of the leaves torn in. Boil for another 5 minutes.
3. Strain and keep the leaves aside add sugar to the remaining liquid. Reduce it to half the amount of original liquid.
4. Grind the strained leaves with the 3rd handful of leaves and add it back to the reduced liquid. Let it sit for 1 hour or until the liquid cools down.
5. Strain again, keep the leaves aside and reduce the liquid further by half.
6. Add the strained leaves, the last (4th) handful of leaves torn apart and the lemon and lime peels back into the pot. Let it infuse for 24 hours.
7. Strain and add the lemon juice/ vodka to the remaining liquid. Pour it into sterilized bottles with 3-4 extra lemon leaves.
This will last you for at least 3-4 months with lemon juice and 5-6 months or more, with Vodka.