I love the aroma of kaffir lime leaves. It is amazing how versatile they are in cooking and I am so proud to have a huge pot of kaffir lime in my garden.
My kaffir lime tree is probably many years old. It was given to me because a friend was moving house and could not find a place for it. When it came to me, it looked miserable with barely any leaves. We fertilized it and it sprang to life. That was about a year ago and I am now keeping it fertilizer-free. It is very leafy with more leaves than I could ever eat. I had frozen packs of leaves from that much loved kaffir lime tree. It has not bear any fruits yet and I wondered if it ever fruited at all but the leaves are what I treasured from this tree.
Kaffir lime leaves are used commonly in South East Asian cooking. They can be used fresh or dried, and can be stored frozen. The leaves are widely used in Thai and Lao cuisine for dishes such as Tom Yum and Malaysian Rendang. It is so versatile that I could use it as a substitute for bay leaves in stews or as a substitute for curry leaves.
For medicinal purpose, the juice and rinds are used in traditional medicine in some Asian countries; the fruit’s juice is often used in shampoo and is believed to kill head lice.
We can buy kaffir lime leaves in supermarkets and they retail about $3 a bunch. To use the kaffir leaves in cooking, cut off the middle stem and crush the leaves a little to release the aroma. It’s a treat of all times.
Have you ever tried cooking with kaffir lime?