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Nov 24, 2008 06:16 PM

what to do with fresh curry leaves?

I stumbled upon a local Indian market that had fresh curry leaves, I'd read about these for a while but this was the first time I'd acquired some.

What should I do with these curry leaves? I've already frozed 1/2, anticipating a productive learning curve for cooking with fresh curry leaves.


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  1. I love adding them to pretty much any kind of dal...they add a nice subtle flavor

    1. Aloo Gobi, or cauliflower and potato curry. I ran all over town looking for these and didn't find them. I am very envious of you.

      1 Reply
      1. re: adventuresinbaking

        Sorry, but as you're in Albany I'll say that I love hiking around New Paltz and in the Adirondacks - so I'm jealous too!

      2. Here's a good info page on curry leaves:

        And a couple of excellent easy recipes to experiment with the flavour:

        And this one for a twist on the Thanksgiving pumpkin dish:

        If you need a good cookbook, this is one of the best. Ms. Jaffrey is the godmother of Indian cuisine!
        Madhur Jaffrey's Quick And Easy Indian Cooking. by Madhur Jaffrey

        Good luck

        1. my favourite way to add curry leaves to dishes is at the end, and with mustard seed. Heat a small amount of oil in a pan, add 1 tsp black mustard seeds (cover this, they pop), after they pop, add a handfull of curry can then add this flavored oil to anything as a's a very nutty, herbaceous way to add umami to a veg. dish

          6 Replies
          1. re: sixelagogo

            ditto. I use them all the time like this either at the beginning of a dish, or at the end. I even do this for the pre-packaged masala blends (shan, hyderbadi, et al.) Curry leaves take things over the top. yum!

            For the op: be prepared for your house to smell like a real Indian kitchen / restaurant when you use them for the first time!

            1. re: gordeaux

              Have you ever used aseofetida??? holy cow !!! you know how some people hate the smell of indian food (i'm definately not one of them...),well asofetida puts me in their company...i can litereally smell it when my cupboard door is open a peek. That is some truly fetid stuff.

              1. re: sixelagogo

                I always use it. Yes, it reeks, BUT the smell goes away (or really calms down) after it's cooked. Love the flavor.

            2. re: sixelagogo

              I'm guessing that you add the leaves whole, how long would you saute them in oil and at what temperature (do they brown)? If I make a larger amount of flavoured oil can I save it in the fridge?

              Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!

              1. re: steinpilz

                use them whole...they kinda melt into any dish, just take off the stem. The oil is pretty hot, so it only takes maybe 5 seconds to get them crisp, then, if yer using it to finish a dish, pour the oil and everything into the dish yer making.

              2. re: sixelagogo

                sixelagogo, ya some indian chefs would call that tempering; sorta like finishing dishes with this very hot flavored oil. i use curry leaves at the very beginning in the same manner, removing them once they start getting brown and burnt (you'll know it) and then sauteing with that oil that is now intensely flavored. it is the most amazing ingredient!

              3. Just a quick tip if you buy more than you can use. They freeze beautifully in an airtight bag.