Bai makrud, or kaffir leaf, comes from the kaffir lime tree, which is indigenous to Indonesia. It is an aromatic seasoning and used either fresh or dried in Thai cuisine.
Cooking with Bai Makrud
Many Thai recipes use bai makrud. In soups, the whole leaf is simmered with the dish, but not eaten. In other dishes such as tod mun, or fried fish cakes, the leaves are finely shredded and eaten. Bai makrud also adds a unique flavor to stir fry, curry and salads.
Bai makrud's aromatic quality makes it useful in other ways. Add some leaves to a hot bath and enjoy its wonderful fragrance while relaxing in the tub. Bruised leaves added to a potpourri mix add a lovely citrus scent, and the bruised leaves also help freshen up skin when rubbed over your hands. Take a small piece of bruised leaf and rub it on a small area first to check for any skin reactions.