Cookbook:Curry Leaf

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Curry Leaf
CategoryHerbs and spices

Cookbook | Recipes | Ingredients | Equipment | Techniques | Cookbook Disambiguation Pages | Ingredients | Spices and herbs

Curry leaf or kadi patta is an herb common to South and Southeast Asian cooking.[1][2][3]


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The leaf is small and green, with a pointed tip and glossy appearance.[1][3][4] The flavor is described as complexly aromatic, with notes of citrus, sulfur, pine, bay, and more.[5][6][4] The leaves are sometimes dried and even ground, though the flavor is less than that of fresh leaves.[3][2]

Selection and storage

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When purchasing fresh leaves (ideal), select those that are small and nicely green, without blemishes or rot.[3][5] They can be wrapped in paper towels and stored in the fridge in a plastic container for 1–2 weeks or so.[4][5] They can also be stored in the freezer for at least a couple months.[3][5] If you need dry leaves, drying them yourself can give you more control and gives you a better idea of their age.[3]

The leaf is used in many South Indian dishes,[2][4] where it adds flavor and a spicy pleasant smell. Typically, it is first fried in oil to help it bloom and release its aromatic compounds, as in tadka.[2][3][4] However, the whole leaf itself is rarely eaten.[1]


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Unfortunately, it's very difficult to substitute another ingredient for curry leaf—you may simply want to leave them out if you can't find any.[4]


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  1. a b c Davidson, Alan (2014-01-01). Jaine, Tom (ed.). The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acref/9780199677337.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-967733-7.
  2. a b c d Van Wyk, Ben-Erik (2014-09-26). Culinary Herbs and Spices of the World. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-09183-9.
  3. a b c d e f g "How to Buy, Store, and Cook With Curry Leaves". Serious Eats. Retrieved 2024-05-28.
  4. a b c d e f George, Simi (2021-09-22). "Curry Leaves Are a South Indian Herb With Major Star Power". Bon Appétit. Retrieved 2024-05-28.
  5. a b c d Farrimond, Dr Stuart (2018-11-06). The Science of Spice: Understand Flavor Connections and Revolutionize Your Cooking. National Geographic Books. ISBN 978-1-4654-7557-2.
  6. Provost, Joseph J.; Colabroy, Keri L.; Kelly, Brenda S.; Wallert, Mark A. (2016-05-02). The Science of Cooking: Understanding the Biology and Chemistry Behind Food and Cooking. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-67420-8.