Curry leaves are the shiny, dark green, aromatic leaves of a tree from the citrus fruit family that release a deliciously nutty aroma when fried in hot oil. A staple of South Indian cooking, curry leaves are used in Indian and South East Asian cuisine in the same way as bay leaves are used in the West.
How to store Curry Leaves:
If you're not planning to use your curry leaves straight away, fresh leaves freeze well and retain their flavour for many weeks, although it will eventually diminish. Freeze in an airtight container or strong plastic bag, as the fragrance will taint other food in your freezer.
Spiced Curry Leaves Rice Recipe
3 cups cooked and cooled white rice (each grain should be seperate)
1 1/4 cups fresh curry leaves
1 tbsp split gram dal
1/2 tbsp bengal gram
8-9 black pepper corns
pinch of turmeric pwd
2 tsps oil
salt to taste
1 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
pinch of asafoetida (optional)
- Heat a teaspoon of oil in a heavy bottomed vessel and add the dals and toss them till they turn red. Add the peppercorns and toss for a minute. Turn off the heat and cool.
- In the same vessel, heat another teaspoon of oil and add the curry leaves and on low-medium heat, toss them constantly till they change color and turn crisp. Don’t burn them. This could take about 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat and cool.
- Grind the toasted dals and peppercorns to a coarse powder. Add the toasted curry leaves and grind to a coarse powder. Remove and keep aside.
- Heat oil for tempering in the same vessel, add the mustards seeds and let them splutter. Add the asafoetida and toss for a few seconds. Turn off the heat.
- Add the cooked rice to the tempering, sprinkle salt and turmeric powder. Add the ground curry leaves spice powder and combine till well blended. Adjust salt.
- Serve hot with yogurt (perugu) or pachadi of your choice.