Substitutes for Curry Leaves

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 reduce the symptoms of diarrhoea. It further has strong antioxidant and anti-diabetic properties.

However, fresh curry leaves are seasonal and hard to buy during winter and early spring.

Curry Leaves Substitutes

The curry leaf dries easily and will hold its flavour, generally use about half the number of fresh as dried leaves in a dish. But if these are not available then luckily there are a few curry leaves substitutes that you can use. Those substitutes are mentioned below.

Lemon Zest:

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 enhance the flavours of the other ingredients in the dish, rather than add a lemon taste. 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:

Bay leaves are more of a staple herb in 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 like the one provided by the curry leaves. These leaves also work quite well with most of the Asian spices and herbs.

Kaffir Lime Leaves:

The lime leaves can provide a taste just like the curry leaves to your dishes. The lime leaves add a wonderful citrus note to the dish and are preferred in many Asian style dishes. You should not eat these leaves as a whole, but when the ground they are safe to eat. These leaves work best for soups and stir-fries.

Lemon balm

Lemon balm is another cousin in the mint family. Its refreshing aroma is similar to that of curry leaves. It imparts a wonderful citrus flavour to salad, stuffing, soups and is preferred in American cuisine. Two lemon balm leaves can replace three curry leaves. The herb is safe to eat. It relieves anxiety, stress, insomnia and indigestion.

Final Verdict

These are 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 element of taste to your cuisine.