Gourmet Food Source
From a sub-tropical tree native to India, curry leaves are an important spice in Indian cookery. Used in much the same way as bay leaves are used in Western cookery they have a unique flavour and an intoxicating aroma.
Usually added at the start of the cooking process, the leaves are first fried in oil to impart flavour and give a crispy texture. One stem will hold a mass of shiny small leaves, which come away easily in the hand. Best used fresh they do dry remarkably well and will last for many months if stored in an airtight container.
If using dried curry leaves crush them lightly in your hand to help release the flavour, use in moderation, the leaves might be small but they pack a punch. Do not confuse curry leaves with the silver-leafed curry plant found in many a Western garden centre, as they are completely different.
Content and picture © Miles Collins