Indian cuisine is one of the most diverse in the world. And curry leaf, or Murraya koenigii, is a staple in many dishes. Even if you are not familiar with this ingredient, you have probably eaten it before at your favorite Indian restaurant.
Although curry leaf is not as popular or well known as some other spices in Indian cuisine, it has risen to the public eye due to dishes served at popular locations such as the Curry Leaves Restaurant in Tampa and The Green Leaves Restaurant. These restaurants make curry leaves the show’s star, and people have given the food rave reviews.
If you are interested in adding this unique ingredient to your culinary repertoire, keep reading to learn about curry leaf Indian cuisine and some fun recipes you can try in the kitchen.
What Is Curry Leaf Indian Cuisine?
Curry leaf Indian cuisine is a food that uses curry leaves as a primary flavor and ingredient. These curry leaves are native to India, but you can find them in Sri Lanka and other parts of Southeast Asia. Curry leaves have a slightly bitter taste with citrus and curry powder notes.
Curry leaves come from a small tree native to India and Sri Lanka but can be found in many Asian markets or online. Their fragrant aroma adds a unique flavor to any dish, and curry leaves are also known for their medicinal properties.
But curry leaves aren’t just for curries – you can use them in various dishes, from stews to stir-fries to soups. And don’t throw away the stems – they can be used as a flavor enhancer when making stock.
While curry leaf is a delicious ingredient in Indian cuisine, it is also important to note that the Indian Leaf butterfly caterpillar uses curry leaf as its primary food source. These beautiful butterflies are common in India, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia.
If you have curry tree in your garden, do not be alarmed if you see the caterpillars munching on the leaves. It is a natural part of their life cycle, and they will not harm your plant, as it will reflourish.
Basmati Rice Curry Leaves
- 2.5 cups Basmati rice
- 1 Onion, diced
- 2 Cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Curry powder
- 20 Curry leaves, chopped
- 2 teaspoons Cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons Coconut oil
- 3.5 cups Chicken stock
- 1 Lemon
- Rice the basmati rice under cold water for at least one minute or until you have removed all dirt and debris and the water runs clear.
- Heat the coconut oil on high heat in a pot and sauté the onions until they are translucent.
- Add in garlic, curry powder, and cumin seeds, and cook for several minutes until the cumin seeds and garlic are fragrant.
- Add in the curry leaves and cook for another minute until the leaves begin to wilt and begin to release their essential oils.
- Once the spices are fragrant, add the basmati rice and cook for 3-5 minutes over high heat, stirring regularly. You want to toast all of the grains of basmati rice. Be careful not to over-stir. The rice won't toast if you stir it constantly.
- Pour in chicken stock and stir until everything is well distributed. Bring the liquid to a boil, cover it with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
- While the rice is cooking, roast the lemon halves on the grill. Cook each lemon for two minutes per side.
- Once the rice is finished, remove it from the heat and rest for five minutes. Remove the lid, squeeze the roasted lemon over the rice, and fluff the rice.
- Serve hot as a side dish, or add your favorite protein for a complete meal.
Tips & Tricks for Basmati Rice Curry Leaves
The garlic and curry leaf basmati rice is a great side dish, but it is also easy to make into the main course. Add diced chicken, shrimp, or tofu to make this rice dish a complete meal. You can also add some frozen peas or diced carrots for added veggies.
To store leftovers, place them in a sealed container and refrigerate them for up to three days. To reheat, put it in a small pot with a bit of water on low heat, occasionally stirring, until it is hot. You can also reheat leftovers in the microwave.
Overall, curry leaves are a wonderful spice that you can use to add an extra kick of flavor to your favorite dishes. Try using it in your famous curry or stew. Alternatively, you can use it as a garnish on top of salads, soups, or your favorite yogurt dip.
In addition, curry leaves are also delicious on their own. You can lightly fry them in coconut oil until they are crispy. You can eat the curry leaves as a snack or use them as a garnish on salads, rice, or soups.
It is important to note that curry leaves should be used fresh for the best flavor. Dried curry leaves are not as flavorful and do not have the same aroma. So make sure that curry leaves are green, not dried out or wilted.
You can store curry leaves in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a few weeks. Furthermore, you can freeze curry leaves, whole or chopped, for more extended storage.
Nutrition Information of Basmati Rice Curry Leaves
Curry leaves are low in calories and a good source of vitamin A, iron, and calcium. So go ahead and enjoy curry leaf Indian cuisine – it’s delicious as well as nutritious.
A single serving of garlic and curry leaf-infused basmati rice (1 cup of rice) has:
– 166 calories
– 3.5 grams of fat
– 29 grams of carbohydrates
– 2.6 grams of protein
So there you have it – curry leaf Indian cuisine is a tasty addition to any dish. Have fun experimenting in the kitchen with curry leaves and enjoy their health benefits.
I made this recipe as is and it’s delicious.
Thanks so much for the great recipe.
After so many rave reviews, I was pretty confident that this would be a fantastic recipe.