Kaffir lime leaves have a distinct fragrance and are different from common lime leaves. They grow in doubles and the average leaf approx 2″ long. Due to thorns harvesting has to be done by hand.
I planted some Kaffir lime seeds given to me by my friends who brought a
couple of limes from Thailand. To my delight, the seeds sprouted in a few weeks. I now have a few good plants of Kaffir lime and more leaves that I can use or supply to my customer. The trees are 5 years of age. Yet no lime fruits have ever come (The fruit looks like wrinkled lime). Our farm is in Maharashtra and maybe the climate here is not suitable for it. Strangely our common lime plants give us plenty of fruits.
However I am more interested in the leaves. Kaffir lime is used extensively and is precious to Thai cuisine. The zest of the lime is an ingredient in red curry paste. The leaves are most commonly used in soups for its zest and refreshing taste – essential in many Thai soups and curries. All parts of the Kaffir lime are used in Indonesian and Thai cuisine enhances the taste of food. When the rind and juice as well as the fresh leaves are used it releases the strong citric and often pungent aroma so many cherish. My main customers are Malaka Spice in Pune a very popular restaurant.
Storage is easy as the freeze well in just place in a plastic bag & retains their flavor for months.
Thai people believe the juice is an excellent hair rinse to prevent hair from falling out. A digestive aid with many known health benefits, the leaves cleanse the blood while helping maintain healthy teeth and gums. In Thailand the leaves are added to shampoo as a natural hair care.
Please do share your own experience. Thank you.