Kaffir Lime

Wild lime, Leprous Lime, Makrut, Jeruk Purat, Double-leafed

Wild Lime, Limau Purut (Malayan common name, possibly named as the rough fruit resembles the rough knobs over a crocodile’s eyes).

Citrus hystrix F. Rutaceae

This information on Herbs is provided free from Isabell Shipard's Herb book.
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Herb Book Commendations

Description

A tropical and sub-tropical member of the citrus family, growing to 4-5 metres or taller. The dark-green, glossy leaves are indented in the middle, which gives the appearance of two leaves stuck together, to look like a figure eight shape. The branches have sharp thorns. Fragrant, white, citrus-like flowers, are followed by small, very knobbly, warty fruit 3-6 cm in diameter. The fruit often seems to have more pips than juice. The juice is very sour.


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Kaffir Lime fruit and leaves
Kaffir Lime fruit and leaves

Culinary Uses

Kaffir lime is a favourite flavouring herb, from India to Indonesia. In Australia, with Asian restaurants using the leaves in their cuisine, many new devotees are joining the ranks as kaffir lime lovers. The aroma of a fresh crushed leaf is very special and immediately energises the body and gives a feeling of wellbeing. The main use of the tree is the fresh, very aromatic leaves. The aroma is freely released when rubbed or crushed. The smell is intensely refreshing, and some say a combination of the aromas of lemon, lemon verbena and lemon geranium. Kaffir lime leaves are a traditional flavouring in Thai cooking, and is an important ingredient in Thai curry paste, and authentic tom yam soup. Leaves can be used similarly to Bay leaves, adding them at the commencement of cooking, to release their flavour into the foods and removing before serving. Use leaves in meat, savoury dishes, and curries. Place several leaves in a chicken, when roasting or on barbecued fish or meat. Very finely diced leaves go well with a prawn salad, or can be added to cooked dishes. Herb loving friend, Christine, says kaffir lime juice over green mango salad is delicious. When making your own herbal vinegars, before corking, place a green kaffir lime leaf in the bottle for a fabulous, finishing, decorative touch. Herbal vinegars make great gifts. Add a leaf to a pot of tea.


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