Curry leaves: Green magic
Sometimes the smallest things make the biggest difference. One such thing is the curry leaf – a tiny unassuming leaf packed with aroma and flavor. It’s a staple ingredient in Indian cuisine, and the herb you are most likely to find in the backyard of every house.
I could start off with facts like how its biological name is Murraya koenigii, but I understand that’s not a very useful piece of information. So let’s skip straight to the million-dollar question – what is so great about the curry leaf, and how do I make use of it?
First things first, the fragrance of the curry leaf is strongest when the leaf is fresh. If you want a constant supply of fresh leaves, the best option is to have a plant of your own. If you don’t already have one, it’s pretty simple. You can grow it from a cutting taken from a grown plant. Cut a piece of stem about 3 inches long, remove the leaves from the bottom 1 inch, and plant it. If you keep it warm and moist, it will take root in about three weeks. Voilà! You now have your very own miracle plant.
Curry leaves are rich in Vitamin A, B, C and B2, as well as many minerals, including iron and calcium. This gives them a wide range of health benefits; studies have shown that they can even help in controlling certain types of diabetes and cancer. Here are some simpler home remedies that prove curry leaves are really tiny packets of magic.
- Weight loss. You can simply chew on fresh or dried leaves or add them in any form to your meals to increase your consumption.
- Stomach upsets. Just add dried curry leaves to buttermilk and drink on an empty stomach. It can treat diarrhea, constipation and dysentery.
- Wounds, burns and rashes. Grind the leaves into a paste, mix with turmeric and apply it directly on the skin. You can cover it with a bandage or gauze.
- Hair care. The simplest way is to add some curry leaves to your usual hair oil. You can also apply a paste of curry leaves mixed with lemon juice. The ways it helps your hair is a list by itself – it strengthens it, prevents premature greying and hair loss, and treats damaged hair and dandruff.
Apart from this, the curry leaf has other, more general benefits such as better memory and eyesight. Now that you’ve seen a taste of its phenomenal powers, here are some ways to incorporate it better into your life.
- Always add in a few leaves to your lentil and rice dishes.
- Use it as an ingredient in chutneys. It goes well with coconut, coriander and mint.
- Make curry leaf powder. Wash the leaves, dry them in the sun for a few days and then grind them. You can use this powder to instantly spice buttermilk, yoghurt, salads and curries.
- Flavor your oil. Heat oil in a pan, add the curry leaves and sauté. Remove the leaves and use the now flavored oil in your dishes.
Have any other helpful tips for using curry leaves? Leave them in the comments below!
And don’t forget to try out Nature Mills’ very own Curry Leaf Rice Mix, made with organically grown curry leaves enhanced with extra spices, all of them 100% natural.
Blog Contributor: Gopika Chezhian