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Citrus x hystrix
Citrus hystrix on sale
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Citrus
Species: C. x
Binomial name
Citrus x hystrix
L.

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, warty 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).

Contents

Naming

Other names for Citrus x hystrix:

  • Burma: shauk-nu, shauk-waing
  • Cambodia: krauch soeuch
  • China: 箭叶橙 jiàn yè chéng (Mandarin), Thài-kok-kam (Hokkien/Min Nan)
  • India: kolumichai ('கொலுமிச்சை' in Tamil)
  • Indonesia: jeruk purut, jeruk limo, jeruk sambal
  • Laos: makgeehoot
  • Malaysia: limau purut
  • Philippines: Kubot, Kabuyaw, per-res (Sagada)
  • Reunion Island: combava
  • Sri Lanka: kahpiri dehi, odu dehi, kudala-dehi
  • Thailand: makrud (มะกรูด), som makrud

The word Kaffir have may come from German Käfer, meaning bug. The leaves of the Kaffir Lime do bear a slight resemblance to an insect, especially the leaf insects native to Southeast Asia, with which they may have co-evolved.

The Oxford Companion to Food (ISBN 0-19-211579-0) recommends avoiding the name kaffir lime and instead using makrud lime because kaffir is a white Afrikaner pejorative for blacks meaning “infidel,” from the Arabic “kafir” that Portugese explorers brought over to describe the native Africans they encountered. Kafir was originally from the Semitic K-F-R meaning “to cover.” It’s a derogatory term still and several alternate names such as Thai, Makrut, Wild, or Asian lime are used to avoid causing offense.[1] Kaffir, however, remains the much more common label.

Uses

Citrus hystrix fruit (left), used in Southeast asian cooking, with galangal root.
Kaffir lime leaves are also a popular ingredient in South East Asian cooking, such as Indonesian, Lao and Thai.

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.

In Popular Culture

  • In the 2007 motion picture No Reservations, Catherine Zeta-Jones' character (Kate, a chef) uses kaffir lime leaves as the secret ingredient in her saffron sauce recipe.
  • Smirnoff makes a ready-to-drink mojito flavored with Kaffir lime.
  • MolsonCoors produces Blue Moon Rising Moon beer, flavored with kaffir lime leaves.
  • Hangar One produces a Kaffir Lime infused artisanal vodka in Alameda, California.

References

  1. ^ "kaffir lime etymology". http://stephenwarrington.com/2009/08/kaffir-lime-citrus-hystrix/.  

Citrus hystrix
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Citrus
Species: C. hystrix
Binomial name
Citrus hystrix
DC.

The kaffir lime (Citrus hystrix DC., Rutaceae), also known as kieffer lime, limau purut or makrut lime is a lime native to Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, used in Southeast Asian cuisine, but grown worldwide as a backyard shrub.

The kaffir lime is a rough, warty green fruit that grows on 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 word Kaffir probably comes via Indonesian or Malay from the Arabic word for non-Muslim. Kaffir limes are also enjoyed by young school children. These children often have their pictures taken with Kaffir Limes.

Uses

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The rind of the kaffir lime is commonly used in Laotian 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 widely used in Thai and Laotian cuisine (for dishes such as tom yum), and Cambodian cuisine (for the base paste "Krueng"). The leaves are used in Indonesian cuisine (especially Balinese and Javanese), for foods such as sayur asam, and are 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 are used in traditional Indonesian medicine; for this reason the fruit is referred to in Indonesia as jeruk obat ("medicine citrus"). The oil from the rind 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 in Thailand.

The zest of the fruit is used in creole cuisine and to impart flavor to "arranged" rums in the Réunion island and Madagascar.

References


Simple English

Citrus x hystrix
File:Rough skinned
Citrus hystrix on sale
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Citrus
Species: C. hystrix
Binomial name
Citrus x hystrix
L.

The Kaffir lime (Citrus hystrix DC., Rutaceae), also known as kieffer lime, makrut, or magrood, is a citrus fruit native to Indonesia. It is widely grown worldwide as a backyard shrub. People usually grow it for its fruit, the lime. The leaves are used for cooking. Vegetable oil obtained from the leaves is used to make perfumes.

Contents

The plant

The plant is a very thorny bush with aromatic leaves. The oil obtained from the rind of the fruit can be used as an insecticide. The plant is well-suited to being grown in a container. The green lime fruits are different from other limes because of their bumpy and rough exterior. They are also quite small, about 4 centimetres wide. The leaves are shaped like an hourglass. The leaves, and the leaf-shaped stem are widely used in the cuisine of Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos.

Citrus x hystrix leaves are also popular in Cambodia, but less so in Vietnam. Malay, Burmese and Indonesian (especially, Balinese and Javanese; see also Indonesian bay leaf) cuisines use them sporadically with chicken and fish.

The leaves can be used fresh or dried, and can be stored frozen.

Although the most common product of the Citrus x hystrix tree is its leaves (which give a sharp Lime/neroli flavour to Cambodian base paste known as "Krueng", Thai dishes such as tom yum, and to Indonesian food such as sayur assam - literally sour vegetables), the juice and rinds of the small, dark green gnarled fruit (known as jeruk obat - literally medicine citrus) are used in traditional Indonesian medicine.

As for the zest, it is widely used in creole cuisine and to impart flavor to "arranged" rums in the Réunion island and Madagascar.

Other names

Other names for Citrus x hystrix:

Terminology

The Oxford Companion to Food (ISBN 0-19-211579-0) recommends that the name kaffir lime should be avoided in favor of makrut lime because Kaffir is an offensive term in certain cultures, and also has no clear reason for being attached to this plant. However, kaffir lime appears to be much more common.

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