Mention curry leaf and most would hail it as a magical ingredient essential to South Indian cooking and Southeast Asian cuisine. Enhancing the taste of curries, dals and even soups, its subtle but signature flavour is distinctive, making any dish intense and full-bodied in character.
I remember preparing laksa (a spicy coconut milk-based noodle soup) for my family after learning it at Home Economics class back in school. I fervently chopped up the curry leaves, my best buddy then, to ensure that my first-ever dish turned out edible!
Curry leaves have a surprising plethora of goodness in them. They are said to help fight diabetes, improve one’s eyesight and keep anaemia at bay. Being rich in anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-oxidative properties, and high in vitamins A and C are also in its list of health benefits.
Have you ever wondered about the difference between curry leaves and curry powder, and had the mistaken notion that the latter comes from the former? They are in fact two completely different things! While curry leaves are from the curry leaf plant, native to India and Sri Lanka, curry powder is a spice mix consisting of coriander, cumin, turmeric and cayenne, invented by the British to add flavour to Indian dishes!
Misconceptions aside, here’s a lovely dish that you can try out with the curry leaf!
Serves 2 people
Written by: Beverly Ho, Senior Manager (Volunteers, Programming)
In her down time, Beverly can be found immersed in craftwork and gardening, or eyes glued to a thriller/ sci-fi movie/ novel! She enjoys cooking, singing, photography, gaming on her PS4 and just that bit of simple sports… since the limbs are now a lot less flexible with age.