Indian spices are known throughout the world since they truly add an exotic taste to any dish, elevating it thoroughly. Southeast Asian cuisine uses an array of spices which don’t just bring out the taste, but also the aroma in each dish along with umpteen amounts of health benefits.
Out of the several spices used in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine, curry leaves are among the most popular. Used frequently in Southeast Asian and Indian recipes, these leaves add a wonderful aroma and flavour to the dish with a slightly bitter and zesty undertone to its name. Used as an important ingredient in most curries, stews, and types of rice in Sri Lankan, Thai, Malaysian, Indian, Pakistani as well as Singaporean cuisine, many households have the curry tree planted nearby.
What Makes Them Perfect
The leaves are dark green in colour and elongated in shape, with a fragrance that is easily discernable. With the several health benefits that they have, you can also eat them without cooking for better digestion.
Curry leaves are used as a garnish as well as ingredients in the main cooking procedure, both ways work just fine. It is always better to use the leaves when they’re fresh, compared to other spices that are used when dry. The reason as to why dry leaves shouldn’t be used in cooking is mainly since they are highly perishable and because they lose all their taste and flavour once they dry up.
There are several health benefits attached to curry leaves when you use them in your food. Some of these include quicker weight loss, treating stomach-related issues, eliminating bacteria, and aiding diabetic individuals, reducing stress, healing wounds, and promoting hair growth among others.
Incorporating Them in Food
Curry leaves can be used in rice, chutney’s, soups, and stews across South Asian cooking. You can incorporate curry leaves in various dishes among various cuisines including:
- Removing the leaves from the stem and adding them to several different styles of curries, vegetables, lentils, or even chutneys can work wonders.
- You can add them to several other spices in hot oil after which you can add your preferred vegetables, meat, or lentils and pair the dish with rice or bread.
- You can also use them as a seasoning for various different rice-based dishes as well as curries.
- Another way to use curry leaves is by sizzling them on a pan that has oil in it and then using brushes, apply the flavoured oil on bread or fish, in order to retain the distinctive curry leaf flavour.
These are the various ways in which you can successfully incorporate curry leaves in your cooking.