Top 5 Kaffir Lime Leaves Substitutes

Kaffir lime leaves are an essential ingredient in many Indian curries, Thai recipes, and other Asian dishes. This list of kaffir lime leaves substitutes will come in handy if you cook a dish that calls for kaffir leaves. It is difficult to find authentic kaffir lime leaf substitutes.

These kaffir lime leaf substitutes may be a better choice if you want maximum flavor. You might be surprised. These kaffir lime leaf substitutes are common ingredients that are easily available in most stores.

What Is Kaffir Lime?

Kaffir lime is a perennial tree and a member of the citrus family. It is a perennial shrub that is mainly grown in Southeast Asia, as well as some other countries such as India, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Kaffir lime fruits and leaves are frozen in Asian markets, so it is not surprising that they aren’t available in your locality. The hourglass-shaped leaves of this plant remind you of the lemony scent of lemons. The shiny green leaves of the new growth turn to dark green when they mature.

kaffir lime leaves substitutes

The fruit is green, and it turns yellow when it is ripe. But what makes it stand out from other types is its warty texture on the peel. This is something you’ll notice immediately.

Kaffir is actually an Arabic term. Some countries don’t use this name. Instead, they call it “Makrut lime”. South Africa uses the name “K-leaves” to refer to Kaffir lime leaves.

What Does Kaffir Lime Leaves Taste Like?

It is important to understand the exact scent and flavor of Kaffir lime leaves before you can find substitutes. Kaffir lime leaves generally have strong citrusy flavors that are paired with a hint of pungency. Many people find them difficult to eat raw, or even alone.

This leaf’s unique flavor can be enjoyed in many ways. It can be added to soups, stews, sauces and marinades, as well as Basmati rice.

Kaffir Lime Leaves Substitutes: What You Need To Know

1. Bay leaves

Bay leaves can be used as a substitute for kaffir-lime leaves. Although they have the same flavor as kaffir lime leaves but lack the citrus, bay leaves are a great substitute. They can be used as a substitute in seasoning soups, sauces and rice dishes. However, you should not eat the bay leaves themselves. Instead, use them for seasoning and then throw them away. You can also combine them with lime zest to make spicy dishes like curries.

2. Lemon and Lime Zest

Lemon and lime zest are easy substitutes. These fruits provide the same strong citrus flavor as certain recipes. This is a great choice, as all you need is a lemon, lime, and a grater. You can substitute the kaffir lime leaves for the zest in many recipes.

3. Lemon Thyme

Lemon thyme can replace kaffir lime leaves in many recipes, including soups, fish, and salads. Lemon thyme is a great choice because it has a strong lemony scent without the bitterness that regular thyme.

4. Persian Limes

This lime is also known as Tahiti lime and can be found in most grocery stores. This lime is the one with the most like flavors to Kaffir lime leaves, out of all the varieties. It is just as fragrant as Kaffir lime leaves.

Persian limes are also easy to use. You can simply cut the fruit in half to make the recipe. This lime is also usually non-seedy, so you don’t need to remove the seeds from your dish before cooking.

5. Curry Leaves

Curry leaves are a great option if you don’t have the Kaffir lime leaves to substitute for Indian curry. Even though they are quite different, curry leaves and lime leaves have similar citrus notes which can be used to enhance the flavor and aroma of your dish.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How Long Can Kaffir Lime Leaves Keep Their Freshness?

Kaffir lime leaves can be stored in a plastic bag, or in a glass container for up to one week. For longer shelf life, you can place the leaves in a bag and keep them in the fridge.

2. How Can You Add Kaffir Lime Leaves Into Curry?

Kaffir lime leaves can be used in Thai and Indian cuisines in one of two ways. They can be either added whole or ground and mixed with other spices.


You can still make a delicious new savory dish if you don’t have a Kaffir lime leaf nearby. You can find substitutes for kaffir lime leaves on my blog. Hope that you love this article.  So what are you waiting for? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. We appreciate your time.

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