Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Aug 4, 2005 01:41 PM

freezing curry leaves

  • j

Whats the best way to freeze curry leaves and how long will they keep?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'm not sure if this is the best way, but here's how I do it: I let the leaves remain on the stem, wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap and then place that package in a ziplock bag, squeezing out as much of the air as possible. They last months at a time this way without much of a drop in quality.

    2 Replies
      1. re: nan

        Yeah, definitely- the ziplock method will last a while in the freezer. Again, I'm not sure if that is the best way, but it has worked for me.

        When I first started to use curry leaves it was somewhere around '93 or so, and I had to buy them frozen in a celophane envelope sealed with staples. Now I can get them fresh pretty easily, but it seems like a waste to discard what I don't use in a timely manner. So- what the heck, frozen leaves weren't so bad back then- I started experimenting with methods, and this has worked best for me so far. Freezer burn, or ice crystals on the leaves, seems to be the main culpret; it turns the leaves a brownish black color with an odd aroma. Avoid that and the leaves maintain themselves fairly well.

    1. The nearest source of fresh curry leaves is 110 miles from me on Route 17 in Paramus, NJ. I buy a bunch any time I drive buy there.

      I wash and air dry the leaves after removing them from the stem. Then I vacuum-seal them in a several small 4 oz. or 8 oz. canning jars using either a Foodsaver with the jar attachment, or a much cheaper/simpler ThriftyVac that I found on Amazon. (If you order either device, pay attention to the lid size. Canning jars come in both wide-mouth and regular-mouth sizes.) Food items that are vacuum-sealed and frozen will last at least twice as long as anything frozen in plastic.

      I unseal the jar, remove what I need and reseal the jar.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Catskill

        I have a couple curry leaf plants at home which grow well. I cut them down to the trunk when the weather gets cool as they start to drop their leaves. I wash all the stalks, spin them in my salad spinner, and let them air dry. Then I put them into gallon ziploc bags and put them in the fridge in the high humidity veggie drawer. I cut my plants down in November, and I'm still using the leaves from the fridge, even though the plants are growing new stalks already.

      2. I freeze them and use them all up, about 3-4 months. I haven't noticed a drop in quality. I'm finding them in more and more stores now thankfully.

        1. My poor curry plant died this year. I have killed it before and it always come back. But not this time. A friend of mine has a giant curry tree that she keeps outdoors during the summer and then culls and takes inside for the winter. She gave me two giant bags of curry leaves and I froze most of them.

          Right now there is a curry leaf shortage at the local markets, so I am glad to have a frozen supply. But the scent and flavor is definitely affected by freezing.