Kaffir Lime Tree Fruit- or Kieffer Lime? - Knowledgebase Question

Spring Valley, Ca
Question by Mary_Narang
March 31, 2006
I have recipes that use leaves from Kieffer Lime trees, (or I have sometimes heard it called


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Answer from NGA
March 31, 2006

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The Kaffir lime (Citrus hystrix DC., Rutaceae), also known as Kieffer lime, Makrut, or Magrood, is a Southeast Asian citrus plant with very pungent leaves. The green lime fruits are distinguished by their bumpy exterior and their small size.

The kaffir lime fruit approximates the size of a Western lime. The fruit is dark green in color and has a bumpy surface. The fruits are not used for drinks and desserts as other limes are. The juice of the Kaffir lime is seldom used in cooking, but the peel of the fruit, with its high concentration of aromatic oils, is indispensable in many curry pastes and is one reason why Thai curries taste refreshingly unique. The zest also imparts a wonderful piquant flavor.

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