Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Curry Leaves (Karivepaaku, Kari Patta)

Curry Leaves (Karivepaaku)

Curry leaves in Indian languages:
Assamese – no-ro-hxingo paat
Bengali – Barsunga
Gujarati – Mitho limdo,
Hindi – Meetha neem, Kari patta, Katneem, Bursunga
Malayalam – Kareapela
Marathi – Kadipatta
Oriya – Basango
Punjabi – Karipata, Karipatta, Bowala
Sanskrit – Girinimba, Suravi
Tamil – Kariveppilai, Karuveppilai
Telugu – Karepaku, Karivepaaku

For this week’s Indian Kitchen, it is “curry leaves”. This aromatic fresh herb is native to India and is an essential ingredient in popu or tadka. The leaves when lightly fried in oil or ghee, release wonderful fragrance and when mixed with rice or with dals, enriches them by their unique appetizing aroma and essential oils.

The curry leaves are in light green color when young and are usually added as whole to the cooking. The mature leaves are dark in green, and are usually teared into two or three pieces or finely chopped before adding to hot oil. For each recipe, the number of leaves I usually add varies from 4 to 10. Some recipes I blogged so far, where curry leaves are a must – 1.Coconut chutney 2. Chitrannam (lemon rice) 3. Sambhar, just to name a few.

If you live in a warm climate, it’s really easy to grow this small deciduous plant. Plant a mature fresh sprig branch or small seedling/offshoots in mineral rich soil, water it daily and watch it flourish into a fragrant, pretty neat plant. It needs sunshine and lots of it.

You can find packets of fresh curry leaves either in fresh vegetable section, or in refrigerated area of your local Indian grocery shop. Usually priced at one dollar a packet, even less during summer times. If you ask me, they are the best bargain, or the most over priced item:) one can buy in US. Fresh leaves stay fresh at least for two to three weeks, when stored in refrigerator, sealed in a plastic bag. When left opened, they dry out easily. Dried leaves can be used in cooking, but the flavor of fresh curry leaves is superior and irreplaceable!

More about curry leaves:
Curry Leaf Heaven
The Goodness of Curry leaves!
Curry Leaves, different names – Source

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Indian Ingredients,Indian Kitchen,Karivepaaku(Curry Leaf) (Sunday March 12, 2006 at 3:58 pm- permalink)
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