Kaffir Lime also known as Makrut or Magrood, is a citrus shrub native to Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand which plays a significant part in many Southeast Asian Cuisine.
Kaffir Lime fruit has a bumpy texture that looks like a small lime. However, it's leaves, recognized by its hourglass shape , plays a more important role in Southeast Asian cooking. Kaffir lime leaves has a strong fragrant that gives a citrus like aroma and a lemony taste without the sour component that can't compare to other citrus leaves. Without it, a dish just won't have that distinct savory flavor in the marvelous taste of southern Asian food.
The Rinds of the lime is commonly use in Lao and Thai Curry dishes.It is an important component in making curry paste. The juice can also be added into drinks or make limenade with it.
The leaves of a kaffir lime can be use dried and can be stored in a freezer. It is added whole to many soup dishes such as tom yum or minced into a beef panang. In Cambodia, is it an ingredient for making a mashed herb dipping paste called "Krueng". Indonesians love to use kaffir lime leaves making a tamarind base soup called "Sayur Asam", and along with bay leaves, they use kaffir to season chicken and fish.
This savory exotic citrus plant is not only popular in the culinary world; It is also known to be a super plant that has many health benefits and just like many citrus fruits, the zest and juice is an excellent cleaning element. It's also a nice fragrant for oils and perfumes.
We have a small kaffir lime tree at home and it stays inside during the cold winter months. But since we do live in West Texas, we keep it in our front porch where it gets plenty of morning sun and a shade in the afternoon. So, next time your recipe calls for kaffir lime leaves, your best bet to find it is at your local Asian Market.