- January 1st, 2011
Makrut Lime Tree (C. Hystrix
Kaffir lime leaf is an essential ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisine. The word ‘Kaffir‘ is a popular culinary term but it’s also a derogatory one in other cultures, so I’ll use its Thai name, ‘Makrut’ or ‘Bakhut’ in Isaan from here on. It’s difficult finding anything but frozen makrut leaves in Miami so I ordered a tree from Florida’s Brite Leaf Nursery. What better climate to grow my own lime tree and gone are the days of making expensive online orders for fresh ones.
The makrut tree is an evergreen belonging to the Rutaceae (Citrus) family originating in Southeast Asia. The dwarf variety pictured above is typical of what you’ll get if you order one online from Florida.
It’ll probably grow to at least 5 ft. in the 18″ pot I planted it in but I’ve seen them grow to 7 ft in other pots. I mixed a 1/4 cup of Espoma Citrus-Tone fertilizer with sphagnum and organic potting soil, watered it thoroughly, then placed it by the sunniest window. I’ll bring it outside in the warmer months since South Florida can get pretty chilly, even in the winter.
Look out for future posts where I’ll be sharing Southeast Asian recipes using makrut lime leaves.