My mother-in-law gave us a tree when we bought our first home, but once I pruned it, it started producing leaves that were definitely not of the kaffir lime. It must have been a graft and the tree must have reverted back to producing regular citrus leaves or something. Anyways last year, I gave my mom a tree for her birthday gift to plant in her yard. The tree is coming along nicely.
Kaffir lime leaves are essential in Thai cooking, but it's also widely used in other Asian cuisines. My mom uses them in her canh chua.
The lime itself has this funny bumpy texture, and the leaves are also interesting. They look like two hearts stuck together, and they have a wonderful aromatic, citrusy scent to them. Interestingly, according to wikipedia, the term kaffir is offensive in some cultures, but I usually refer to these in their Vietnamese name, la chanh thai (Thai lime leaves) in our family anyways.
This post is a teaser. Tomorrow I will post my family's Thai fish cake recipe, using kaffir lime leaves, of course.