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Makrut Lime FAQs

This is no ordinary lime. You can see makruts’ resemblance to conventional limes in their emerald colored rinds and bright green segments of pulpy flesh. Nevertheless, when a recipe calls for makrut lime, there is no substitute. Also known as thai limes and mauritius papeda, makrut limes have also been historically referred to as “kaffir limes”.

Makrut Lime

Makrut limes have a unique flavor among citrus fruits. They have a sour, citrus freshness you may come to expect from a type of lime - only much more intense and concentrated. These hard to find limes have an astringent flavor that’s very sour and aromatic. Some fans of makrut limes describe the flavor as mildly soapy. Their juice has a concentrated bitter flavor, and can’t compare to conventional lime juice. The floral, sour and astringent flavor of the juice is much more complex and tastes best when used with other ingredients.

About the size of a golf ball, makruts have lush, dark green color on their bumpy textured skin. Underneath their skin is a thick, whitish pith that’s inedible. Inside, the makrut lime has more segments than your average lime, but with similarly light green, glimmery fruit inside. Each section of fruit contains whitish, inedible whitish yellow seeds that are hard and bitter tasting.

Makrut limes are versatile fruits that can be prepared easily to use in recipes. Unlike traditional limes, the flavor in the zest, juice and fruit of the makrut lime is very sour and is typically used as a spice. The most popular ways to prepare a makrut lime is by slicing, juicing, zesting and squeezing. They’re relied upon as a staple ingredient around the world including South African, Middle Eastern, Thai, Filipino, and Chinese cuisines. 

These special citrus fruits grow natively in southern China and countries across Southeast Asia, and are cultivated throughout the world. The makrut lime tree is considered a dwarf citrus, and grows to be about five feet high. Their leaves, prized in culinary use for their citrusy flavor, are dark, shiny green and have a unique double lobe shape. In parts of North America, the makrut lime tree bears fruit year round.

Once known as “kaffir” limes, this moniker has evolved to their Thai name, “makrut” limes. The word “kaffir” has offensive origins, particularly within South African and Middle Eastern cultures. Thus, fans of the fruit along with the farming and culinary communities prefer the name from where makrut limes grow natively in Thailand.

On the outside, makrut limes are a lush, dark green color with lots of bumpy texture on the skin. Underneath their skin is a thick, whitish pith that’s inedible. Inside, the makrut lime has more segments than your average lime, but with similarly light green, glimmery fruit inside. Each section of fruit contains whitish, inedible whitish yellow seeds that are hard and bitter tasting.

Ripe makrut limes have dark green color and lots of bumpy texture on their skin. They’re a bit more firm and more round in shape than your typical lime. Yet ripe makrut limes should still yield to gentle pressure when squeezed lightly.

Makrut limes are versatile fruits that can be prepared easily to use in recipes. Unlike traditional limes, the flavor in the zest, juice and fruit of the makrut lime is very sour and is typically used as a spice. The most popular ways to prepare a makrut lime is by slicing, juicing, zesting and squeezing.

From there, makrut limes can be used in countless food and drink applications to add perfumy, sour citrus flavor. In raw and cooked dishes, cocktails, soft drinks and desserts, makrut lime will add an acidic flavor complexity.

The seeds of makrut limes are inedible. They also tend to have many more seeds than a conventional lime. Like a conventional lime, their seeds are very hard and bitter, and should be discarded or composted.

Makrut lime trees are native to southern China and countries across Southeast Asia. The tree from which these brainy little limes grow is cultivated throughout the world. In parts of North America, the makrut lime tree bears fruit year round.

The makrut lime tree is considered a dwarf citrus, and grows to be about five feet high. Their leaves, prized in culinary use for their citrusy flavor, are dark, shiny green and have a unique double lobe shape.

Being a member of the citrus family earns any lime a reputation for being high in vitamin C, and the makrut lime does not disappoint. With relatively low calories, these bumpy little limes pack a nutritional punch.

Makrut Lime Nutrition (one piece, 67g)

  • Calories 20
  • Sodium 1g
  • Carbohydrates 7g
  • Fiber 2g
  • Vitamin C 29mg
  • Calcium 20mg

Autumn is the peak time to find makrut limes. They tend to grow vigorously and can be cultivated year round.

Makrut limes are a staple ingredient around the world including South African, Middle Eastern, Thai, Filipino, and Chinese cuisines.

The zest and juice of the makrut lime adds complex, sour citrus flavor to foods ranging from soups and stews to sauces, vegetable dishes, and even proteins from delicate fish to chicken, pork and red meat. Desserts are very welcoming of makrut lime flavor, particularly in jams, candy making, pastries, pies and tarts. The fragrant fruit flavor pairs well with chocolate and creamy desserts alike.

Beverages are an easy canvas for makrut limes! Just a touch of makrut lime zest in your batch drinks, bottle of water, teas or cocktails will make them all more delicious and refreshing.

Makrut limes have a unique flavor among citrus fruits. They have a sour, citrus freshness you may come to expect from a type of lime - only much more intense and concentrated. These hard to find limes have an astringent flavor that’s very sour and aromatic. Some fans of makrut limes say they can almost taste soapy.

For all these reasons makrut limes are usually grated or very thinly sliced into recipes. A little goes a long way, and small amounts of makrut lime zest are used to flavor large quantities of rich sauces, stews, soups, proteins and vegetables.

The thin green layer of skin, or zest, contains makrut lime’s flavorful essential oils. Their concentrated, perfumy flavor is so lively that it’s used more like a spice than a piece of fruit.

Makrut lime juice is very bitter and concentrated in flavor, and isn’t a great substitute for lime juice. The floral, sour and astringent flavor of the juice makes it best suited for use in small quantities. In cocktails, a dash or three of makrut lime juice can add unique and complex citrus flavor.

The nutmeg of the citrus world, makrut limes are prized for their flavorful, pungent and zesty rind. Grate and zest makrut lime into sauces, sweets, meat and seafood dishes and delicate vegetable recipes. The rare makrut lime is an incredibly versatile fruit. Once you start, you won’t stop finding ways to add this special citrus flavor into all of your foods and beverages.

Makrut limes have a perfumey and intensely citrusy flavor that adds a bright dimension to beverages. Use zest and juice in batch and crafts cocktails just as easily as teas, sodas, enhanced waters and juices. To make delicious alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, use your makrut limes to make a basic syrup, then add it to your drinks.

Makrut limes can be stored on the countertop for about five days, or for up to two weeks when refrigerated in a sealed container. Frozen makrut limes will keep for up to three months in the freezer.

Your FruitStand fam encourages you to clear the safety of any new fruits or veggies with your veterinarian before offering them your pooch. That said, most pets, including dogs do not like sour, bitter or acidic citrus flavors. Both makrut leaves and fruit can make your dog feel very sick if consumed, especially because they contain certain chemicals that are known to be toxic to dogs.

If makrut lime’s green juice and rind gets onto certain fabrics it could leave a stain. Spot treat the mark immediately, following the directions on the fabric cleaner, to help avoid a stain.

Were you so excited to find makrut limes that things got a little messy in the kitchen? The green juice and rind can leave a mark if it gets onto fabrics. If you drop makrut lime on your clothing, table cloth or napkins, first treat the spot with a stain remover that’s safe for that particular fabric. Follow the directions on the product to prevent the spot from setting, and pop the item into the washer as soon as you can.

This is no ordinary lime. You can see the resemblance of these citrus fruits in their green rind and bright green segments of pulpy flesh. Nevertheless, when a recipe calls for makrut lime, there is no substitute. Their key differences can be observed in their shape, texture, fragrance, flavor and culinary usage.

Makrut is a type of lime that has a thick, bumpy, green rind. Conventional limes have smooth skin and a shape that’s similar to a lemon. Makrut limes tend to be much more round than conventional limes, with the lime’s signature pointy top. Unlike standard limes, the rind of the makrut is just as much, if not more so than its juice.

Makrut limes are used more commonly as a spice and flavoring than as the star of the show. While conventional limes have a sour-sweet tang, makruts offer a complex aroma and taste that’s astringent, floral and citrusy. Because of this, Small quantities of either makrut lime juice or zest can provide a lot of flavor!

If makrut lime spoils, it could give off a funky aroma. Discard or compost old fruit and clean the area where it was stored with warm, soapy water. Use an old-fashioned box of baking soda anywhere you store foods to prevent odors from spreading.

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