India is a country blessed with spices and culinary ingredients that can add distinctive flavors to your dishes. There are plenty of ingredients that are grown in the lands of India and travel across the world to spread their exotic flavors. One such special culinary ingredient is curry leaves. It is one of those ingredients that is synonymous with the region it came from. Curry leaves are the signature flavor right from Southern India. It is one of the essential ingredients used in Southeast Asian cuisines that include curries, soups, dals (lentils), etc.
Curry leaves don’t give a dominant flavor to the cooking; instead, they have a subtle taste that can make your food richer. These leaves are more popular for the aroma they add to the dishes. There are plenty of reasons why people use curry leaves in their cooking. Earlier, curry leaves were homegrown and only available in the selected grocery store only, but today you can easily purchase curry leaves online. Thanks to the eCommerce stores that offer curry leaves in their fresh form.
What Are Curry Leaves?
Majorly used in adding exotic flavors to the dishes, curry leaves are aromatic herbs. Earlier, they were only used in South Indian cuisine, but gradually, curry leaves spread their love to every corner of the world. These glossy leaves are bright green and have a teardrop shape. Curry leaves are also called sweet neem leaves in some of part of India. They are grown on the tree and belongs to the citrus family as they have a lemony scent and flavor, which is often compared to lemongrass and anise.
Health Benefits of Curry Leaves
Curry leaves health benefits are many that make them even more popular culinary ingredient. It is one of the Ayurvedic medicines used as an Indian holistic method for healing. Take a look at some amazing health benefits of curry leaves-:
- Curry leaves are a powerhouse of antioxidants that are great for your health system.
- These medicinal leaves are brimmed with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. You can use the leaves to prepare tea or tonic during cough and cold.
- Curry leaves are a rich source of iron that can help in balancing the deficiency of iron in your body. It can also help in reducing the risk of anemia as well.
- It also has some anti-diabetic properties that can help in reducing the blood sugar levels in your body.
How To Use Curry Leaves in Cooking?
There are plenty of ways in which you can use curry leaves in cooking. You can find fresh curry leaves on the shelves of Southeast Asian grocery stores. If you want to have a regular supply of curry leaves in your home, you can grow them in your garden as well. Buy the curry leaf plant and plant it in your garden. Make sure to but the Mediterranean curry plant.
Take a look at some of the ideal ways to use curry leaves in cooking-:
Saute in Butter/Ghee: When the curry leaves are sauteed and soften, they release a delightful flavor that can make your dishes even more delicious. Add butter or ghee in the pan and put some dry curry leaves into it, sauté them for at least three to five minutes before adding them into any dish.
Dry Them: A majority of Southeast Asian people love to keep the dry leaves handy to add them to the dishes whenever they want. Keeping dried leaves is a smart way to use curry leaves for long. You can air-dry the curry leaves in a basket. Make sure to put it away from the direct sunlight, as overexposure can burn the leaves. Once they are completely dried, you can crumble them and top it over your dish.
Curry Leaves Oil: You can make fragrant oil from the leaves that can be further used for cooking. Heat oil in a pan and sauté the curry leaves in it. Once the oil completely absorbs the flavor of the leaves, you can remove the leaves and use the oil in making your dishes. This way, you can add the flavor of curry leaves in your meals without adding the leaves. Also, you can use it as a glaze for fish or pour it over your flatbread.
The Bottom Line
Curry leaves are a great flavor ingredient majorly used in Southeast Asian cuisine. Earlier, it was only used in Asian cuisines, but over time, their exquisite flavor profile and rich texture they add to the dishes made them globally popular. Today, you can easily avail of curry leaves online.
The above mentioned were some of the essential details that you need to know about these amazing flavored leaves. If you are also looking to add the magic of curry leaves in your dishes, buy some fresh leaves online or grow your own curry leaf plant in the garden.