Kaffir Lime Leaf Powder
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Kaffir Lime Leaf Powder is known as ‘makrut’ or ‘bergamot’ lime leaves, kaffir limes are small citrus fruits native to Southeast Asia. Both the fruit and the dark green, glossy leaves are used in Southeast Asian cooking, especially in Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
The kaffir lime leaves have a fragrant, citrusy and zingy flavour, and are deeply aromatic. Whole leaves are often used in soups like Thai tom yum, while finely shredded leaves are often added to Asian salads and fishcakes. We use the leaves in our Thai Panang Gourmet Cooking Sauce and our Indonesian Rendang Gourmet Cooking Sauce. When cooking with whole leaves, they need to be removed from the dish before eating as they’re quite tough, just as you would remove bay leaves from stews. Meanwhile, the juice is used in Indonesian sambals (chilli pastes), while the rind or peel is used in curry pastes like Massaman or Thai green curry.
Kaffir lime leaves can also be dried and ground into a fine kaffir powder. This grinding process helps to release the natural oils in the leaves, creating a more intense flavour and aroma. A powdered form is also much more versatile as you can use it in recipes where adding leaves would be more difficult, such as desserts, sauces, biscuits, marinades and even cocktails – basically, anytime you need a powerful tangy flavour.
While fresh leaves are preferred, they’re not easy to find in the West. Freeze-dried kaffir leaves are a good alternative as they stay fresh for longer. Freeze-drying also helps to retain nutrients, which is great as kaffir lime leaves are packed with vitamin A, B-vitamins and antioxidants. They’re also anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, and are often used in aromatherapy, soaps and cosmetic products.
Ready to start cooking with kaffir lime leaf powder? Here are some recipes to try:
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