Kaffir lime, or Citrus Hystrix (scientific name), is a citrus fruit native to tropical Southeast Asia. Both its fruit and leaves are used extensively in Asian cuisine, as well as its essential oils, due to its amazing aromatic citrus fragrance and anti microbial properties.
The aroma from both the rind of the fruit and the leaves is almost the same, so for cooking, we normally use the leaves, whether fresh, frozen or dried. The fruit is mostly used for its zest. To really enjoy the aroma, you can cut / slice the leaves or just tear the leaves and place them in the dish.
It is very common to find kaffir lime leaves in Thai cuisine. However, for my family in Penang, we also use kaffir lime leaves for our Penang style curries, such as curry kapitan, rendang, kerabu, otak otak etc.
My dad is very good with making the julienne from leaves. I remember when my mum is making kerabu rice or bee hoon, my dad is the main person solely in charge of all the julienning the fresh leaves and ginger pieces.
In Australia, kaffir lime plants and leaves are easily available from shops or markets. You can even purchase the frozen and dried leaves from your local Asian grocers.
The fresh leaves can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 weeks; the dried leaves can be kept for a while in the pantry, but the flavour may not be as aromatic. However, if you prefer the convenience of long shelf life with almost similar aroma, you can consider the kaffir lime leaf powder.
This powder is freeze dried instead of sun-dried, thus it maintains the vibrant punch of the kaffir lime fragrance.
How do you use the powder?
You can add it directly to curries such as rendang, or sprinkle it on grilled fish. It is that easy! Most of all, you can use any quantity that you like.
How would you use kaffir lime? Would you go with the fresh leaves or the powder for convenience?
New 50g pack Kaffirlime Leaf Powder