Seasonal shoutout Kaffir lime

Get a little zesty this winter with the nobbly-yet-nice citrus fruit.

NameOther titles for this fruit include combava, wild lime, kieffer lime, leprous lime, jeruk purut, makrut lime, limau purut.

PlaceKaffir limes are most commonly found in Thailand, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia and India.

LookThe kaffir lime looks similar to the regular lime, but with knobbly skin. Each leaf is indented, which makes it look like it is two leaves stuck together.

GrowKaffir limes can be grown in pots in mild climates. Make sure the soil is moist and that you use a high nitrogen fertiliser on the surface around the plant.

BuyLook for dark-green, glossy leaves. You can store limes in a cool cupboard or fridge and the leaves in a plastic bag for a week or freeze for as long as a year.

PrepareRemove the centre vein of leaves, then tear and add to salads, curries, stir fries or soups.

CookRemember that kaffir limes have an astringent, aromatic, sour flavour. Use the zest, juice (what there is of it) and leaves in Laoitian or Thai curry, in Creole cuisine or to flavour rum cocktails in Martinique and Madagascar.

MendKaffir lime is known as ‘medicine citrus’, because the oil from the rind has strong insecticidal properties. The juice is also used as a cleanser for clothing and hair in Thailand.