Curry leaves are the leaves of the curry plant. This plant is native to India and is often found in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the country. It is also grown in China, Nigeria, Australia, Ceylon, and many other places. The leaves of this plant are used in cooking various dishes.
The curry leaves provide a rather unique flavour to the dishes in which it is used. It further has a lot of health benefits like it can cure diarrhoea. It further has strong antioxidant and anti-diabetic properties. However, these curry leaves are not available that easily all the time. This can be quite a bummer for somebody who wishes to cook authentic Southeast Asian dishes. However, there are a few curry leaves substitutes that you can use. Those substitutes are mentioned below.
If you are not familiar with what lemon zest is, then you can define it as the upper layer of the lime’s rind. The oil in the lemon zest is quite pungent and it has a strong citrus flavour too. This citrus flavour and the pungent oil can provide a taste to the dish that will be quite similar to the curry leaves. The lemon zest works well in most of the dishes. This is one of the best curry leaves substitutes that you can use in your dishes.
Bay leaves are more of a staple herb in the Mediterranean cuisine. These leaves are also quite widely used in a lot of Indian dishes. They provide a sweet and savoury taste that is quite similar to the one provided by the curry leaves. These leaves also work quite well with most of the Asian spices and herbs. You can also choose to use Indonesian bay leaves. The Indonesian bay leaves are not similar to the bay leaves that we talked about above, but they can work as a good substitute for the curry leaves too.
Lime leaves are not that easy to find, but they are still relatively easier to find than the curry leaves. The lime leaves can provide a taste just like the curry leaves to your dishes. The lime leaves have a strong taste just like the curry leaves. These leaves further have a citrus note which can complement your whole dish. You should only use these leaves toad a delightful flavour to the dishes. You should not eat these leaves as a whole. These leaves work best for soups and stir-fries. Apart from these, you can also use lemon balm as a substitute for the curry leaves.
These are the all major kind of spices that you can use as a substitute for the curry leaves. None of these can replace the exotic flavour added by curry leaves to a dish. But, they can certainly add a unique taste to your cuisine. So, buy authentic.