Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Curry Leaf Powder

This winter we did not start any new plants as we had to go to India for about 5 weeks. We had a friend water our plants and I was worried about them. We were surprised to find all the plants hale and healthy when we got back and especially our curry leaf plant thrived well. When we bought the plant it was about 4 inches tall and now its more than a feet tall. We move it out in the summer and bring it back inside in the fall. So for the Green Blog Project - Winter/Spring 2007 hosted by Ahaar, I decided to make curry leaf powder, which when made right can be stored for a few weeks. If you keep it longer, it loses its aroma. Also this is different from the very famous curry powder. Curry powder is made by dry roasting and grinding a mixture of spices. Curry leaf powder can be had, mixed with rice and ghee. This will also be one of my entry's to the JFI-WBB: Green Leafy Vegetables event hosted by Indira.

Some interesting facts about curry leaves from here.

The curry leaf plant (or tree if you wish), is a native of Tropical Asia, southern India and Sri Lanka. Its scientific name is Murraya Koenigi. The leaves are small, pointed and in clusters, giving of a strong aroma. The aroma is delightful when added to curries and while frying spices, and lends that extra something to south Indian dishes. Contrary to popular belief, the curry leaf does not come from the curry plant, nor is it the secret behind the flavor of the curry powder. While some people may add it to their curry powder, it is largely a seasoning leaf, to be used only in specific curries to provide specific tanginess.Apart from cooking, the curry leaf has a number of medicinal uses also. Unani, Ayurveda and other systems use it to cure ailments such as piles, to allay heat of the body and are useful in leucoderma and blood disorders. In India, the curry leaf is used to prevent conditions such as nausea and stomach upsets. It is also used in treating skin irritations and poisonous bites. Its oils are invaluable as repellents and to cure skin disorders common to the tropics.

Scientifically speaking, the curry leaf contains : 2.6% oil, beta-caryophyllene, beta-gurjenene, beta-elemene, beta-phellandrene, beta-thujene, alpha-selinene, beta-bisabolene, beta-transocimene and beta-cadinene.

There are many traditional remedies for everyday discomforts that utilize the goodness of the curry leaf, and here are some of them. To help in constipation, one can soak curry leaves in hot water for a few hours and drink the water with a spoonful of honey added to it. It eases the digestive tract and allows easier motion of stools. To cure nausea, brewing a curry leaf tea helps. And here’s a nugget, to cure nausea brought on by pregnancy, one can drink a mixture of 1 teaspoon curry leaves juice with 2 teaspoons lime juice and 1 teaspoon sugar every morning.

As a skin medicine, curry leaves boiled in cow’s milk can be applied on a heat rash or a milk skin infection. It can also be ground into a paste with some turmeric and applied on acne infected skin for a few days. The result is a glowing, clear skin. Curry leaves boiled with coconut oil can be an effective hair colorant which causes minimum damage and maximum benefit to graying or thinning hair. South Indian women have, for centuries, mixed with the leaves of the China Rose and fenugreek, and applied as a paste to keep hair long, back and gleaming.

Now getting back to the recipe.


Curry leaves - 2 cups
Channa Dal - 1 tsp
Toor dal - 1 tsp
Whole Pepper - 1 tsp
Dhania (coriander seeds) - 1 tsp
Jeera (cumin seeds) - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 3 or 4
garlic - 2 cloves
Tamarind - size of a gooseberry/raspberry (optional)
Asafoetida - a pinch
Salt - as needed

Clockwise from top: curry leaves, channa dal, whole pepper, coarse salt, tamarind, garlic cloves, asafoetida, toor dal and red chillies and jeera in the centre


Dry roast curry leaves for about 4-5min and keep aside. Dry roast all the other ingredients till the dals turn golden brown and a nice aroma arises. It is always better to dry roast the ingredients separately as they turn brown at different temperatures. Also when you dry roast spices, you need to keep an eye at all times and they turn black pretty fast. Grind everything together in a spice grinder and store in a air tight container.

The aromatic curry leaf powder ready to be mixed with rice.

Try to eat a tsp of this powder mixed with rice and ghee just before every meal and that's the best way to get your daily dose of the nutrients from the curry leaves.

The ball of curry leaf rice ready to be popped into my mouth.

The curry leaf plant can be bought from here.


Asha said...

Major yum!!:))

mb said...

ultra delicious and spicy Deepz. Such a great idea to use homegrown curry leaves. Thanks for participating in GBP. Stay tuned for the roundup!

Deepz said...

Thanks Asha.

Thanks Mandira, I am looking forward to the roundup.

Inji Pennu said...

Deepz, you are ready right for the Summer GBP? It is going to be a lot more exciting than Summer and you will have lot of entries. So you should be ready to round up on October? Ready right? Let me know please? Want to ask Mandira to put link you on her round-up. Please get ready to do an announcment post please? Let me know. Reply here and I will come back..

Deepz said...

Yes Inji Pennu, I am ready to host GBP-Summer event. Will be making an announcement on Sunday. Mandira has already told me that she will announce this in her roundup. If I have questions I will get in touch with either you or Mandira. Enjoy your break.

Priya Dilip said...

Hi... the small mudda of rice looks very yum.. The pot of karivepaaku/ curry leaf is awsome.. where did u find the pot? did u grow it with seeds or buy it from somewhere?

Food DB said...

Nice Work. I am creating a Indian food & recipe portal, would like to get your help & contribution from you. Please contact offline (fooddb@gmail.com). Thank you

Deepz said...

Priya: Thanks. I bought the plant from Logees. It was about 5 inches tall when I bought it and now its about more than 2 feet tall. I have the link to the site on the post itself.

Deepz said...

Food DB: I am very sorry but at this time I will not be able to help/contribute to your web portal. Good luck with your project.

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

Ur TAMIL NEW YEAR food looks YUMMY.......

Deepz said...

Thanks Sukanya.

Roopa said...

delicious! i love this chutney powder, the veges and herbs look very beutifull!

Deepz said...

thanks roopa.

Anonymous said...

looks yummy. your curry leaf plant looks great. where did you buy it?? I'm planning to buy one. Thanks-Kavitha

Deepz said...

Thanks Anonymous. I bought mine at Logee's. I have mentioned the link in my post.