Curry leaves, also known as “Kadhi patta” or “curry patta”, is widely used in Indian dishes. It adds special flavor and aroma to the dish. It has numerous health benefits and is packed with carbohydrates, fiber, calcium, phosphorous, irons, vitamins and folic acid. It is good to include this antioxidant-rich curry leaves in our daily diet. It helps to fight diabetes, lower cholesterol, increases iron in the body and is also good for the healthy growth of hair. Many people boil the curry leaves in coconut oil and then apply to the hair before shampoo. It strengthens the hair, reduces hair fall, increased shine of the hairs and prevents them from greying.
I love to use curry leaves in many of dishes, be it kadhi, potato poha, usal, dal, rice or chutney.
The value of this golden leaf increased for me when I moved to Sydney. I have to buy them from the shops and that too in small quantity. In India, the vegetable vendor would give a bunch of curry leaves complimentary along with the vegetables purchased or we would have the curry leaves planted in our backyards with other plants.
My very good friend Shanthi Krishnan, mother of two super talented kids, marathon and triathlon runner visited us with her family last year. I call her “Superwoman”. We had a very lovely time spent. She saw how I carefully use and treasure the curry leaves in Sydney. She promised me that she would make me a packet of home dried curry leaves when I go to India. She is a South Indian and uses the curry leaves in abundance in her cooking. She tells that she likes to dry the curry leaves and crush them and use them. We generally try to remove the curry leaves while we are eating, hence we do not benefit a whole lot by eating curry leaves this way. Instead, if we use the powdered dried curry leaves in our dal, curry, kadhi, chutney, rice or sambhar, It will go straight in our body similar to Kasuri methi.
When I was returning back to Sydney after my visit to India this year (Dec 17-Jan 18), Shanthi gave me a big packet of her homemade dried curry leaves at the airport where she came to see us off. I was so happy receiving it and just prayed the whole way that the food officer should clear it at Sydney.
Thank you, Shanthi for the wonderful effort. I am now happily using the curry leaves generously in my dishes.
I like to make coconut chutney with the curry leaves. Usually, I use fresh coconut and fresh curry leaves while making the chutney. This time I made it using the dried curry leaves, desiccated coconut, roasted chana dal or dalia. The chutney came out very tasty and had nice green color.
I make this chutney with idli, dosa, vada, paniyaram or uttapam. Sometimes I like to serve it with dhokla made from mix dal.
Nariyal Curry Patta Chutney/Coconut Curry Leaves Chutney
- 1/2 cup chana dal roasted, daaliya, puttu
- 1 green chili or as per spice level
- 1 inch ginger chopped
- 1 cup dessicated coconut
- 1 tbsp dried curry leaves
- 1.5 cup water or as the consistency required
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp urad dal split black gram
- 1/2 tsp mustard seed rai
- 1/2 tsp cumin seed jeera
- 6 curry leaves
- 1 dry red chili
- 1/4 tsp asafoetida hing
- salt to taste
- In a mixer jar, grind roasted chanal dal with green chili, ginger and salt to a fine powder.
- Add the dried curry leaves and desiccated coconut.
- Grind them together.
- Add water and grind to a smooth paste. Adjust water as per the consistency required. (some prefer a thick chutney and some prefer it to be thin). The coconut curry leaves chutney is ready. Remove it in a bowl.
- Prepare the tempering or tadka - Heat oil in a pan. Add urad dal and roast it till golden.
- Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds and let they crackle.
- Add dried red chili and asafoetida.
- Add curry leaves and saute for a minute.
- Pour the prepared tempering/Tadka on the chutney.
- Mix it well. The chutney is ready to serve.
- Serve it with idli, dosa, upma, uttapam, paniyaram, vada, dhokla.