ingredient information
Kaffir Lime Peel
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The kaffir lime (Citrus hystrix DC., Rutaceae), also known as kieffer lime and limau purut is a type of lime native to Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine, and widely grown worldwide as a backyard shrub. The kaffir lime is a rough, bumpy green fruit that grows on very thorny bush with aromatic and distinctively shaped "double" leaves. It is well suited to container growing. The green lime fruit is distinguished by its bumpy exterior and its small size (approx. 4 cm wide). The rind of the kaffir lime is commonly used in Lao and Thai curry paste, adding an aromatic, astringent flavor. Its hourglass-shaped leaves (comprising the leaf blade plus a flattened, leaf-like leaf-stalk or petiole) are also widely used in Thai and Lao cuisine (for dishes such as tom yum), and Cambodian cuisine (for the base paste known as "Krueng"). The leaves are also popular in Indonesian cuisine (especially Balinese and Javanese), for foods such as sayur asam - literally sour vegetables, and are also used along with Indonesian bay leaf for chicken and fish. They are also found in Malaysian and Burmese cuisines. The leaves can be used fresh or dried, and can be stored frozen. The juice and rinds of the kaffir lime are used in traditional Indonesian medicine; for this reason the fruit is sometimes referred to in Indonesia as jeruk obat - literally "medicine citrus". The oil from the rind also has strong insecticidal properties. The juice is generally regarded as too acidic to use in food preparation, but finds use as a cleanser for clothing and hair, mainly in Thailand. The zest of the fruit is widely used in creole cuisine and to impart flavor to "arranged" rums in the Réunion island and Madagascar.