The Elusive Makrut Lime

30 December 2014

The Elusive Makrut Lime

In my search for ingredients to do a proper Thai curry paste, I discovered new information (well, new to me...) about the lime that I needed to track down.

Every Thai curry paste recipe - yellow, green or red - calls for the Makrut (Kaffir) lime zest.  And it's been made clear - the ZEST, not the leaf.  Okay, no problem... off to Chinatown where you can buy anything, right?  Nope.

But first things first; what I learned immediately was some good information about the word itself.  Through a long list of articles and definition sources, the bottom line is that the word kaffir is a racial slur in South Africa - so... I'm going to refer to it as the Makrut lime and call it day!

© bignai -

Now, after extensive hunting in Canada's most multicultural city, tons of online searching AND a call to a restaurant friend 'in the know' who called a colleague even more 'in the know', I have yet to track this lime down.  Seriously, this is one elusive citrus! least in Canada! The leaves, on the other hand, are surprisingly easy to track down. (The photo above is from a stock agency until I find one for myself!)

So, sadly, no curry paste apron for us until we can find this - but I have plans - and I'm keeping my eye on the local nurseries to see when they might carry the tree!  I'm working on it... so to be continued!