Nimbu Saan - A Kumaoni Dish

Winter is the citrus time in the hills. Every house has citrus trees of different varieties. One can see the limes and lemons, malta and oranges and other local varieties of citrus trees overladen with the fruit at this time of the year.

On sunny afternoons in the hills in winters, you’ll find people basking in the Sun on rooftops or courtyards. People gossiping, knitting or cleaning veggies for dinner or engaged in some routine chore or just sleeping and definitely making Nimbu Saan. All ingredients are sourced locally or from their fields. It is a tangy and finger licking preparation that is eaten almost every day. Rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and specially Vitamin-C, it contributes to good health in winters. It is a great appetizer and you just can't have enough of it.

Nimbu Saan


  • 500 gms fresh thick curd
  • 3 tablespoons bhang seeds (hemp seeds)
  • 1 bunch fresh green coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • Jaggery to taste
  • 1 Lime
  • 2 malta / kinnow /oranges
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 2 medium size fresh sweet radish(mooli)


  1. Take bhang seeds in a thick bottom wok. Roast on medium flame. Stir continuously. Soon the seeds will begin to crackle and change colour. Turn off the heat. Leave to cool.
  2. Clean coriander. Wash. Chop the tender stems and leaves.
  3. Take roasted bhang seeds and coriander in chutney maker. Blend. Add water if the paste is thick and not smooth. You should get a very smooth and fine paste.
  4. Whip curd until smooth.
  5. Add salt and jaggery. Grate jaggery so that it dissolves in curd.
  6. Add bhang and coriander paste to curd. Keep aside.
  7. Take a sharp knife and remove the outer thick skin (rind) of the lime. Cut horizontally into two. Cut each half vertically into four. Remove the juicy hair carefully. Discard white membranes and seeds.
  8. Peel malta / kinnow / oranges. Remove the juicy hair. Discard membranes and seeds.
  9. Peel and cut bananas.
  10. Peel and collect pomegranate seeds.
  11. Peel and dice radish finely.
  12. Add all the fruits and radish pieces to curd.
  13. Mix well and serve fresh.

My Tip: Bhanga-Coriander paste should be really fine. Balance salt and jaggery to get the right taste. Sweetness should be on the higher side. Curd should be thick and not runny.

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  1. Abha Mehrotra2/28/2017 8:38 pm

    You reminded me of my childhood in the hills.Sana neebu was always a favourite.Here I will have to make do with smaller limes but I am definitely going to make it.We have kumaoni neighbours so may be they will have Bhanga seeds with them.

    1. Hello Abha, If you've had Nimbu Saan, I am sure that you must have relished the tangy and sweet taste and delicious flavour of jaggery and bhanga. Hope you try it out soon and enjoy it.