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Kaffir Lime

Small, fragrant citrus fruit widely used in Thai and Southeast Asian cuisine. The fruit have a distinctive knobbly, dark–green skin and uniquely double–shaped, glossy leaves. Finely shredded or grated, both the leaves and zest are added to soups, curries and chilli dishes to give them a wonderful tangy flavour. To chop fresh kaffir lime leaves, stack two or three leaves in a pile. Roll leaves from tip to stem into a tight bundle, then slice finely. Discard the tough central stem. Whole leaves can be simmered in dishes but remove them before serving as they are tough. The juice and flesh are not used as they are bitter. Kaffir limes and leaves are available fresh or dried from Asian food stores or supermarkets. If unavailable, use lime zest and young lime leaves. Because of the racist connotations of the word ‘kaffir’, they are increasingly likely to be found as ‘makrut’ limes.