Kaffir limes are vastly different from regular limes. Rather unattractive to look at, with a bumpy surface and extremely bitter taste, these limes are not commonly consumed. Their leaves, however, are widely used to add incredible depth to Asian dishes.
Native to Indonesia and used throughout Southeast Asia, they have an unmistakable flavour and fragrance, which is loosely described as a blend of lemon, lime and mandarin. So unique is their taste, chefs say if you can’t find them to use in a dish, don’t even bother attempting to replace them with something else, you won’t even come close to replicating it!
You may find kaffir lime leaves labelled or marketed as Makrut lime leaves, as the word “kaffir” has some negative connotations in ancient Africa.
Our kaffir lime leaves have the most wonderful perfume – add them to dressings, syrups, pastes, marinades, curries and desserts to elevate your cooking to a whole new level.
Containing citronellol, limonene and antioxidants, they’re also good for you. The leaves and rinds of the kaffir limes can be rubbed directly onto your gums to get rid of any nasty bacteria in your mouth. The oil is known to help detoxify the blood and liver. Added to a lotion, kaffir lime juice or oil makes a great natural insect repellent. The leaves, juice or extracted oil can be applied topically to relieve the pain caused by inflammation, arthritis and gout.
Essential oils crafted from kaffir limes are used to make perfumes. If you have a few extra leaves sitting around the kitchen, toss a couple into a hot bath and luxuriate in their rich, rejuvenating citrus essence. The properties of this intoxicating aroma will also help calm the mind when inhaled, reducing stress and anxiety.
The glossy double leaves keep well in the fridge for at least two weeks, or they freeze exceptionally well, lasting up to a year in the freezer if packaged correctly.
Available all year round.