A couple of weeks ago I used curry leaves in a plantain and Mango curry. The leaves were used to flavour the sauce but were then removed before eating because they are quite tough yet full of flavour. I always think it’s a shame to throw anything away even if it has been used in some way, so I did a little research into curry leaves and I discovered that they are actually very good for you.
“Curry leaves contain iron, fiber and vitamins, including vitamin A and vitamin B. Curry leaves are extremely high in antioxidants, plant sterols, amino acids, glycosides, proteins and flavanoids” (source: Live Strong)
Curry leaf powder has many medicinal properties including –
- A good remedy for nausea and indigestion. Extract juice of curry leaves, squeeze a lime and add a pinch of sugar.
- Chew a few leaves every day to lose weight
- Curry leaves are also known to improve eyesight, so make sure you do not throw away the leaves while eating. It is also believed to prevent cataract.
- Curry leaves are also good for hair growth and colour. If you don’t like its raw taste, you can buy the curry leaf powder widely available in the market and have it with dosa or hot rice. You can also make it at home. This will prevent pre mature greying of hair.
- Alternatively, you can also add a few curry leaves to your hair oil and boil it for a few minutes. Applying this hair tonic will keep your hair healthy.
(Source: The Times of India)
So I wondered what was the best way to consume the leaf to get maximum benefit. A lot of the sources talk about curry leaf essence but I also found out that you can turn curry leaves into a powder and stir them into rice or use the powder to flavour fish and meats. Perfect! A very traditional recipe is mixed with dry roasted Channa dal like in this recipe by ‘Umas Kitchen Experiments‘ but I like to keep things simple so I have just made a very basic curry leaf powder.
I will be using this powder in my Spices challenge own recipe which hopefully I will post this weekend! It needs a second test run 🙂
For this I used 1 bag of curry leaves which was approx 1 and a half cups or a very large handful. First wash and dry the leaves and then spread the curry leaves out onto a baking tray and pre heat the oven to around 180c.
Dry roast in the oven for around 8 – 10 minutes, keep an eye on them because they go from perfect to burnt VERY quickly! Once roasted (they will go crispy and a brown colour) then leave to cool.
In a blender add the dried curry leaves, 2 red chillies, garlic powder and blitz untill it is a fine powder.
Do not make the mistake I did and open the lid of the blender, stick your nose in and sniff hard! I was uncontrollably sneezing and coughing for around 10 minutes this is seriously potent stuff!! I stupidly decided to give it another sniff before cooking with it a few days later and again I was sneezing for ages (around 12 sneezes!). so I say cook with it but yeah dont stick your face in it!