The Kaffir Lime is a citrus species with a highly aromatic double-leaf. Commonly used in Thai cookery, Kaffir Leaves are a key ingredient in green curry paste, and their distinctive citrus flavour is increasingly used in international cuisine.
There are many citrus flavours and scents, but Kaffir leaves have a unique pungency that’s hard to match. Dry and powdered Kaffir leaves are often used – but fresh leaves have a clearer, cleaner flavour.
Like Bay Leaves, whole Kaffir leaves are usually added to recipes – and the leaf removed before eating. Cooks want the flavour of Kaffir leaves – not the leaf itself, which is rather tough.
Originating in south-east Asia, the Kaffir Lime is a citrus tree with many benefits. The fruit are inedible, but their knobbly exterior is rich in essential oils. Kaffir lime fruits were traditionally used in Thailand to rub on the scalp; if you have a Kaffir bush in your backyard you may not need to buy shampoo!
Although Kaffir leaves are most commonly used in savoury dishes such as Laksas and Thai curries, some new recipes call for them in deserts. Try Kaffir sorbet on your friends and family if you want to treat them to something unusual and quite delicious!