Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Tips will be encouraged

Dear Foodies,


Curry leaf (or karivepaku or kadipatta or karivepalai) is a essential and unique ingredient of Indian cuisine. I pick it up during my visit to the Indian store rather thoughtlessly every single time and toss it into the tadka with the same attitude. And just as casually as I pick it up at the store, I set it aside on my plate while eating too !! How many of you eat it, honestly ?

Despite this alienation on the plate, when there was a ban and subsequent shortage of curry leaf at the stores a few months back, I began to miss it! Whenever I found a ziploc bag of these aromatic leaves in the freezer section of the Indian store, I grabbed and stored it into my freezer. I have been doing it for a few months now and realized I had about 5 packs of it at home :)) Yes! I am that greedy gal who picked up the last pack leaving you none...

Well, all that wasn't enough either and when my mother was filling huge suitcases with goodies for us I told her about the ban here. She industriously got a huge crop of fresh leaves from our neighbor's garden, washed, dried and powdered them to use here. This was a convenient method both for transporting it and prolonging its life. But the best result was it saved us the trouble of discarding it on the plate. So if you are leaf-pickers just like me or cook for people who are, try this out..

Wash and spread the curry leaves on a kitchen towel and set it to dry for a day or two. You can do this right in your kitchen. After the moisture in them is nearly out, dry roast/fry them in a pan just to get rid of any moisture and crisp them. Powder them coarsely and store in a airtight jar or ziploc bag. Use a pinch or two in your tadka and see it melt into your curry away from your prying eyes...
But hey, do save a few of the freshest leaves or what would you top that yummy dal or that warm rasam you just made for the blo.... err family :)

This is not the curry leaf powder that is mixed with rice and had, for that you would want to dry roast (or use 1tsp oil) some urad dal, channa dal, dry red chillies, hing/ingua, a tiny piece of tamarind and grind to a coarse powder along with the powdered leaves. Add salt to taste and enjoy it with warm rice mixed with a dollop of ghee and some curd on the side...you'll love it!

Curry leaves are known to be a medicinal herb, according to Wiki they are "antidiabetic [2], antioxidant [3], antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, anti-hypercholesterolemic etc." Here is another article that details their advantages. An excerpt from it
Apart from cooking, the curry leaf has a number of medicinal uses also. It is an essential ingredient of almost all traditional medicine systems of peninsular India, sometimes with amazingly good results. Unani, Ayurveda and other systems use it to cure ailments such as piles, to allay heat of the body and are useful in leucoderma and blood disorders, and this has been proven by experts of western medicine also. In India, the curry leaf is used to prevent conditions such as nausea and stomach upsets. It is also used in treating skin irritations and poisonous bites. Its oils are invaluable as repellants and to cure skin disorders common to the tropics.
Did you know of this use for curry leaves ?
It can also be ground into a paste with some turmeric and applied on acne infected skin for a few days. The result is a glowing, clear skin
Need to try it out...now out with your little kitchen tips. What short cuts do you seek in your kitchen? .. any easy beauty tips ??

23 thoughts:

Manisha said...

I eat them. And esp the crispy ones - they're fried so how can they not be good? - that are found in chivdas and farsaan. I was told by a friend that I would go deaf if I ate them as that was the belief in his family. I am deaf. It may or may not be because of the kadipatta though but it has only worked to my advantage!

I have 5 packets of fresh kadipatta that I need to work with quickly. Some are destined for a chivda. The rest in a dry chutney. We used to dry copious amounts of kadipatta for my sis in the 80s but so much of the flavor seemed to be lost. Maybe cos we were comparing it with the fresh leaf? And now I am seriously considering doing the same thing!

Pretty pics! Neat DoF and I see some bokeh too!

Priya said...


As long as they are in mixtures I don't mind them either :) But in dals/curries they are sometimes added raw and that makes them stringy...me no eat them :(
True, over a period of time the flavor will get diluted, I found the same happening even with frozen leaves. Well, you can never beat the fresh flavor.
Thank you :)

Priya said...

no comments on the template change :(

V said...

I love to eat curry leaves! I have a plant at home and regularly use them in everything.

My kitchen beauty tip, rubbing lemon rinds on my face after using them!

Divya Vikram said...

My mom does the same thing..However instead of drying them for a day or two she just microwaves them for a few min to get rid of the moisture..

Ramya's Mane Adige said...

hey, Love the new look of your blog... The pic is beautiful too!!!!
I actually like curry leaves. I eat them along w/ the veggies!! someone once told me that curry leaves burns the extra fat in your body... Thats when I started eating it, actually!!! :D
I wonder how fra its true....

notyet100 said...

thns for sharing,..now knw how to store curry leaves

bee said...

love the new header. i make the spiced curry leaf powder often.

Priya said...


V, I used to do that! totally forgot about it, thank you sooo much :) And yes, I need to get a curry leave plant too. Did you have a sapling or did you use seeds ?

Divya, that takes away a lot of time from the process, wonderful method! Thanks to you and your mom for this :)

Ramya, Thank you :) Well, now thats the kind of motivation I need to eat them :)

notyet100, yup, and try Divya's tip about microwaving them.

Bee, thank you soo much :) and any tips regarding my pav's in the previous post ??

Kalai said...

I love eating the crispy ones, but I tend to pull the soggy ones out. This is a great tip!! Thanks, Priya! :)

Kalai said...

Btw, love the new template! :)

Maheswari said...

Lovely post about curry leaves.There is a saying in tamil "Kariveppilai mathiri thukki potuttan", meaning throwing someone like curryleaves from the food.for garnishing i use a few full leaves, but for rest i just chop them fine so that it is impossible to throw out.Mom and MIL usually dry them out and powder them for me.I too have a curry leave plant, hoping to get some leaves out of it in a few years ..:)

As for tips , these are something that really worked for me.
*Mix yogurt with some kasthuri manjal and apply on your face and let it stand for atleast 20 minutes.I usually do this before taking a shower.
*To deskin peanuts, i microwave them for abt 30 sec.The skins come pretty easily after this.
*For longer life, i put pressure cooker's rubber in the freezer once in a week.

Raaga said...

ever since I came to know my grey hair will reduce :-) I've been religiously eating them. And I eat karuveppilai podi with thayir saadam or even plain thayir :-) love love love it.

Jyothsna said...

I eat them whether in curries or chivdas!! That's coz my grandma always told me my hair will remain black if I did :)

Sia said...

good for hair and fat burning??? now these tips will help me;)
lovely new blog look priya... looks very refreshing...

sunita said...

I must admit that I too tend to discard the curry leaves in a curry :-P...but nice tips there, Priya...thanks for sharing...and yes, the blog layout looks neat :-D

Anonymous said...

I save my fresh curry leaves for atleast 2 weeks in the frig. This is the method I follow all the time. I take thick glass jar lay the paper towel on the bottom of the glass jar and then I fill the curry leaves. Then I put couple of layers of paper towels on the top of the curry leaves. Now close the glass jar lid. This method works for me so far. Give it a try.Plastic jar does not work very well. I don't know why.

Radha

Sangeetha said...

Nice blog Priya! MY first time here. When I was young my mom used to say that curry leaves will make your hair grow better (there's your beauty tip), so out of greed of wanting luxurious hair, I would religiously eat atleast half of the leaves that I had put aside carefully!! :) I am gonna try to powder them for seasoning the next time. Good tip!

Manisha said...

Sorry! I clicked through from the feeds and didn't pay attention to anything but the post and the pics in the post.

I like the new header! Very much! That burger makes me want to reach out and gobble it right away and then cool off with the berries and the mango (?) cooler in the background. Very nice choice of colors!

whitefieldbb@gmail.com said...

Priya:

Like your site... and your sense of humor. As the proud owner of two karipata trees, your tips for use are interesting. i must write a note to use them and then remember where I put the note.
Those pancakes are mouthwatering too.
As a senior who has just started a cooking blog, may I invite you to visit when you have time: http://paytpooja.blogspot.com.
Comments appreciated.
Thanks
Geeta Aunty

Jaya said...

Priya- The template looks great... And hey, I am one of those people who religiously eats every curry leaf in her food... And I donno if i can attribute my jet-black hair to that... But if so, you have a testament right here with me.. :P

soums said...

Heyy Priya,I do the same thing too!!Dry and store them :)
Back Home, we have two big karivepaku trees and miss them so much now.. :(.Miss that karivepaku chutney made out of fresh leaves ..

Priya said...


Thank you all!

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