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dry versus fresh curry leaves

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Sal Vanilla May 28, 2013 01:39 PM

I cannot find curry leaves in my small town, but I did find dry curry leaves which have been crumbled.

Can dry be substituted for fresh and if so any guess on the quanitiy and if they should be fried?

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  1. n
    Nyleve May 28, 2013 03:28 PM

    It seems to me like the difference between dry and fresh parsley or basil. There's a quality to these fresh leaves that are lacking in the dried, even if the essential flavour is there. I've used both - dried is better than nothing, but fresh is much superior. Either way it's not an assertive herb so just use as much as you like. Start with something like what the recipe requires and add more if you think it needs it.

    1. chefj May 28, 2013 04:12 PM

      I find that Commercially Dried Curry Leaves have no flavor at all.
      You can dry them your self in the Fridge and it preserves the color and flavor.
      I think you should taste a bit straight and then add to taste. If they have no flavor then just skip them.

      3 Replies
      1. re: chefj
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        Sal Vanilla May 28, 2013 05:02 PM

        I may have to go find some in Seattle. I saw from another post that there are places there that sell them.

        Good idea to taste straight. Had not considered doing that. I sniffed. Not a huge smell.

        1. re: Sal Vanilla
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          Nyleve May 28, 2013 06:05 PM

          I bought a curry leaf plant recently so that I can have fresh leaves for cooking. Right now it's about 2 inches tall, so I won't be harvesting anytime soon, but hopefully it will grow. It's an indoor plant where we live, but I'll let it spend the summer outside and then bring it in for the winter.

          1. re: Nyleve
            chefj May 28, 2013 07:45 PM

            I just bought one last year and have harvested 3 sprigs so far. It is about to flower and is about 16" tall. I have high hopes for it.

      2. s
        Spot May 28, 2013 08:12 PM

        We cannot find them fresh where we live, either, which is why I just bought a plant online from a place named Logee's. We'll see how well it grows.

        1. s
          Sal Vanilla May 28, 2013 10:27 PM

          I smelled the dry leaves again tonight and then steeped them to see if it changed the smell. Both conditions - they smelled sorta like green tea.

          Maybe my sniffer is off.

          I am intrigued by a curry plant, but I know it is a no go here (PNW-maritime) Every year I try to grow thai basil and every year it looks like it has been nailed by agent orange. Wilt then the leaves fall off.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Sal Vanilla
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            Nyleve May 29, 2013 04:59 AM

            Indoors it should be fine - if it gets enough sun. I guess it's the sun part of it that's the problem.

            1. re: Nyleve
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              Sal Vanilla May 29, 2013 07:55 AM

              I was just discussing that last night with the hubs. We are going to get another poor plant and try not to kill it indoors. I cannot imagine where we will get a curry plant.

              1. re: Sal Vanilla
                n
                Nyleve May 29, 2013 10:08 AM

                In canada, you can get them by mail order from Richter's Herbs, which is where I got mine. But I'm sure there are US nurseries that will ship them as well.

                1. re: Sal Vanilla
                  RUK May 29, 2013 04:51 PM

                  Logees?

                  1. re: RUK
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                    Spot May 29, 2013 07:49 PM

                    http://www.logees.com/Curry-Leaf-Murr...

            2. RUK May 29, 2013 05:19 AM

              I am growing a "Curry plant"/ Murraya koenigii for many years here in NJ. It is by now ca 4 feet high and nicely branched. It does well outside under a tree over the Summer and with bright indirect light during the Winter inside.
              My plant came super clean through this Winter, but it is extremely prone to Scale infestations, so it has to be absolutely watched by about February to keep it pest free. I had a couple of years where I simply cut all old leaves and waited for the plant to sprout again in the Spring.

              6 Replies
              1. re: RUK
                LMAshton May 30, 2013 08:18 PM

                It took many years to reach 4 feet high? Wow, what a difference from a tropical climate! In Sri Lanka (I lived there 10 years), we had volunteer curry leaf trees shooting up everywhere, and they'd grow to four feet in less than a year. We also didn't have a problem with pests, generally, until the papaya mealy bug infestation hit - that was nasty.

                My mother in law recommends pinching off the top so it grows bushier rather than taller. But curry leaf plants that are in use tend to look rather stunted just because of how many branches of curry leaves are cut off...

                1. re: LMAshton
                  RUK May 31, 2013 05:18 AM

                  I am going to be jealous! :-)

                  1. re: RUK
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                    Nyleve May 31, 2013 06:27 AM

                    Mine is almost 2 inches tall.

                  2. re: LMAshton
                    chefj May 31, 2013 04:59 PM

                    They are like weeds in India and Singapore.

                    1. re: chefj
                      LMAshton Jun 1, 2013 04:43 PM

                      I haven't seen any in Singapore, although I have no doubt that they're here. But living in a highrise keeps a person rather distant from nature, especially when compared to the house we lived in in Sri Lanka, which was close enough to jungle that we had neighborhood monitor lizards (4-6 feet long) and purple face langur monkeys. And volunteer everything kind of plants, including many a papaya tree.

                    2. re: LMAshton
                      boogiebaby Jun 1, 2013 08:55 AM

                      I trimmed mine down in February and they've grown about 18" since then. They grow fast in SoCal heat, but I know people in cooler areas who can't seem to get them to grow. They are root heavy too, so they grow better in ground or in large pots as opposed to a small/shallow pot.

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                    Sal Vanilla May 29, 2013 05:48 PM

                    The guy who shops in Seattle for his specialty food store in my area is going to hunt a plant or frozen leaves for me. I am so excited!

                    I priced Logees - jeesh they have some lovely things - but their shipping (I am on the other side of the country) was a little steep for me and summer weather...) But thank you so much for suggesting it RUK.

                    1. boogiebaby May 30, 2013 01:24 PM

                      Fresh and dried are incomparable. I would leave them out over using the dried bits as they will just break into little bits into your food.

                      I'm in SoCal and grow curry leaves at home in my yard and my plants are growing very well. I have 2 large plants, each about 4 feet tall. I grow them in large pots. In the cool weather, they drop their leaves, but I just trim the tops off so that only the main trunk remains and they regenerate as soon as the weather warms up a bit.

                      Prior to growing my own, I would buy the leaves fresh from my indian market and freeze the excess until I needed them. Frozen are preferable over dried. I do recall a couple people on here mentioning they ordered fresh/frozen leaves online.

                      1. h
                        hankstramm May 30, 2013 09:36 PM

                        I buy them and roll them in paper towels and freeze them in tightly rolled plastic bags. They are fine.

                        There has to be Indian people near your small town. Sorry to stereotype, but check your local cheap motel--9 out of 10 motel owners in the US are Indian. Ask them where they get their curry leaves. They might even sell you some (or give you some). They're very inexpensive.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: hankstramm
                          LMAshton May 31, 2013 05:30 PM

                          "I buy them and roll them in paper towels and freeze them in tightly rolled plastic bags. They are fine. "

                          That's what I would do if I didn't have access to them. It works great.

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