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.
Curry leaves belong to the family of citrus fruits, are completely edible and good for your health. The green leaves have a glossy sheen, pointed ends and a distinct pungent aroma. Curry leaves are a good source of minerals and vitamins.
You can even consider adding freshly plucked Curry Leaves along with their stems to your cooking pot. Remove them before serving as all their flavour gets extracted during the actual cook.
Adding Perfect Flavours With Curry Leaves
Listed here are five ways to cook with flavourful Curry Leaves:
Temper Your Food:
Adding curry leaves to hot oil or ghee along with mustard and cumin seeds releases the most tempting aromas. These tempered spices when combined with cooked curries, lentils, stews, sauces, and even chilled curd, flavours these dishes delightfully.
Alternately, you can even begin your cooking process by first tempering the basic spices before incorporating the main ingredient. All the goodness of the spices seeps through the entire dish, transforming it for the better.
Add a Crunchy Bite:
When fried in sizzling hot oil, curry leaves turn crisp and lose their rawness. These are often sprinkled on rice dishes and stir-fries as a crunchy garnish. Fried curry leaves must only be added when they complement the original flavours of your culinary preparation. Do not just incorporate them where they aren’t wanted.
Prepare Chutneys and Relish:
For a tasty relish on toasted crostini, blend curry leaves with freshly grated ginger, toasted cumin, lime juice, salt, and green chillies. This simple yet healthy concoction will delight all those who enjoy freshly whipped up treats.
Grinding curry leaves with green chillies, coconut, garlic, onion, ginger, black pepper, tamarind, and salt, makes a refreshing mixture. This chutney can either be spread liberally on slices of bread or otherwise tossed with boiled pasta.
Novel Take on Flatbreads:
Flatbreads are the perfect accompaniment to meals comprising of gravy elements. For an interesting twist, incorporate curry leaves while kneading the dough as well as sprinkle some on top before baking. Doing so not only makes the bread more appealing to look at but also enhances the taste.
Flavour Hearty Soups:
Adding a few fresh curry leaves while preparing chicken or vegetable soup does wonder to this comfort food. It is particularly predominant in rasam, a tangy soup of South Indian origin. This recipe begins by sautéing curry leaves with asafoetida, fenugreek, and mustard seeds. For sourness, tamarind is also added to this hearty preparation which has a very runny consistency.
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.
Store fresh curry leaves in the refrigerator within an airtight container or sealed bag. Make this wonder herb a part of your regular diet and up the flavour quotient.
Curry leaves (also known as kadi patta) are the predominant flavour and aroma in Madras curry, as well as other popular Indian and Sri Lankan dishes. They have a delicate spicy citrus flavour and are incredibly aromatic.$3.45