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Citrus hystrix, called the kaffir lime, makrut lime, Thai lime or Mauritius papeda, is a citrus fruit native to tropical Southeast Asia and southern China. Its fruit and leaves are used in Southeast Asian cuisine and its essential oil is used in perfumery. Its rind and crushed leaves emit an intense citrus fragrance.
About Kaffir Limes Kaffir limes are about the size of Western limes. They are dark green with a bumpy surface. In order for the Kaffir lime tree to produce any limes, be sure to provide plenty of light for flowering. Because they produce very little juice, the juice and flesh of Kaffir limes is rarely used, but the sour-tasting rind can be finely grated and used for flavoring dishes. Fresh Kaffir limes can be frozen using freezer bags and used as needed.
Kaffir Lime Leaves The glossy, dark green leaves of the Kaffir lime tree are quite distinctive. Kaffir lime leaves look like two leaves joined together, as one appears to grow from the tip of the other. Kaffir lime leaves are most often used as an essential ingredient for flavoring many Asian dishes such as soups, curries and fish. They can be used fresh off the tree or from dried leaves. Kaffir lime leaves can also be frozen to retain their freshness. Picking the leaves every few weeks may help encourage growth. Crushing Kaffir lime leaves will release their fragrant oils, which emit an intense citrus aroma.