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May 22, 2011 11:07 AM

What to do with curry leaves?

Hello -

I picked a small curry leaf plant from an Indian garden shop. Now that I have one, what exactly are they used for? This is not the small, fragrant bush type that is NOT used for cooking. I did get it because it looks great alongside the lemongrass I found.


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    1. they can be sauteed (whole) for any soup, stew, or braise along with the other aromatics--use 5 to 10 depending on the quantity of the whole dish and how strong you want the flavor to be of course. of course they go well with any dish calling for indian spices but you can throw them into anything.

      also, niloufer ichaporia king's book "my bombay kitchen" has some very intriguing recipes that call for curry leaves--in one, she just roasts wedges of squash rubbed with olive oil, garlic and chiles--scatter the leaves around the wedges before roasting. calls for a full cup of leaves for a 2-lb squash but you could sliver them and use fewer (or make less squash).

      1. two things come to mind:

        kerala shrimp curry, with curry leaf, black mustard seed and coconut milk. similar to this one (though this one doesn't list mustard seeds in its recipe): the sauce for this dish is one i could just drink and swoon (but i love the savory coconut flavor).

        then an indian cabbage dish -- cabbage with mustard seed and curry leaf.

        1. Let the plant grow and use a stalk (with the leaves) or so when you do south indian cooking.
          It is an aromatic that is a must in tadka of most south indian food.The leaveshave slightly bitter taste so they get taken out ( like bay leaf) while eating.
          What can you use it for, Upma, any daal or stir fried vegis the indian style.

          1. This is one of my favorite recipes that uses curry leaves: