Monday, 21 December 2015
Fruits of Thailand - 9 - Kaffir Lime - 'ma gruut' - มะกรูด
Plate 1. - KAFFIR LIME - 'ma gruut' - (มะกรูด)
A profusely fragrant tropical citrus, Kaffir Lime is indispensable in Thai cooking, and cannot be substituted with other kinds of citrus. The valued parts are the leaves (Bai Ma Gruut) and the peel (Pew Ma Gruut) or zest of the limes. The juice is also aromatic but is not generally used in cooking since its perfumy quality can overpower light sour dishes. Both leaves and peel are available frozen or dried if you are not able to find them fresh and do not grow your own.
The dark green leaves come in double form – a more pointed top leaf joined to a more rounded bottom leaf. They impart not only a sweet, lemony scent but a wondrous flavour of their own to soups, salads, curries and stir-fried dishes. For watery simmered dishes, the leaves are bruised and added whole; for dry dishes, they are cut into very fine hairlike slivers. To sliver, stack a few leaves at a time and cut at a slanted angle with a sharp knife; or use scissors.