Taste of the week: Kaffir Lime Powder

I love having secret weapons in my kitchen, ingredients that with a mere sprinkle can elevate a dish or a snack from ordinary to fabulous. Kaffir lime powder is one of those. The deep green, waxy leaf of the kaffir lime, with its distinctly fragrant citrus flavor common to south-Asian cooking is traditionally tossed whole into curries and soups, but one of my favorite ways to use this zesty leaf is to grind it into a powder, imparting its balmy oils in a fine shower, over ice cream, onto roasted nuts, or as a final citrusy burst on a bowl of noodles. Simply chop the leaves, grind them in a spice grinder until you have a fine powder. For sprinkling on desserts, you can add a touch of unrefined cane sugar to the grinder to make a sweeter powder. And the leaves, ground or whole, keep well in the freezer, so you can always have a stash to hand.

This recipe gets common use in my house. For an apero with friends, or just to snack on while writing at my computer, I almost always have a stock of these in my cupboard.


Asian mixed nuts with kaffir lime powder

Makes 3 cups (about 340 g)   |   Equipment: A baking sheet. 

1 1/2 cups (170 g) dry-roasted salted peanuts

1 1/2 cups (170 g) dry-roasted salted cashews

Extra-virgin olive oil spray

12 fresh, frozen or dried kaffir lime leaves, chopped, then ground to a fine powder (2 teaspoons, see Note)

Note: Dried kaffir lime leaves can be found in on my amazon store.


1.    Center a rack in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

2.    Combine the nuts on the baking sheet. Spray them lightly with oil and toss to coat.

3.    Place the baking sheet in the oven and lightly toast the nuts,  8 to 10 minutes, tossing them occasionally.

4.    Transfer the nuts to a bowl, and while still warm, toss with the kaffir lime dust. (Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.)

This recipe was first published in The French Kitchen Cookbook. All reights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.