When you search about “curry leaf”, academic statement like Murraya koenigii or curry leaf tree is a tropical to sub-tropicaltree in the family Rutaceae. But that is not what you like to know, I suppose.

I often hear about it, but what is it?

Curry Leaf Plant is a family of citrus, and mostly its leaves are consumed.

Does it smell any good since it is citrus?

Fresh leaves are used for “tempering” by adding the leaves into hot oil, in order to build and infuse its aroma into the oil. I can not bring any similar thing however the aroma has a hint of citrus and roasted sesame seed. If there were any chance to see the flower blooming, it has sweet fragrance which can be smelled a few meters away.

You might find dried leaves sold in the south Asian food market or gourmet food store, most of them already lost its own distinctive aroma, unfortunately.

Suppose it smells like curry

The curry leaf’s own aroma is not like curry powder which contains fenugreek and cumin which are recognized as key elements of curry flavor.

But I understand that there is Curry Plant

The curry leaf plant is often confused with the curry plant which is a family of chrysanthemum, which is not edible. The curry leaf plant and the curry plant are the two separate things.

Curry leaves are edible, right?

It certainly is edible. (The picture above is Lemon Rice)

The curry leaf plant’s leaves are used in south Indian, Sri Lankan, Malaysian, Myanmar cuisines to add its aroma to the dishes. Adding the leaves to the hot oil as starter or tempering with hot oil to infuse the aroma before finishing the dish are the popular ways to use the curry leaf flavor to enhance the dishes.

The curry leaf is called “karipatta” in Hindi/Urdu, “kariveppilai” in Tamil, “karapincha” in Sinhala, and you often see them in the recipes.

I have heard abut Ayurveda has adopted the curry leaf

Not only Ayurveda, but it is adopted in the regions for hair and head skin treatment. Ground as paste or heated with coconut oil are used as pack. In south India, such pack is used to keep the ladies hair healthy and black.

Have not seen them until recent?

It is originated in south India. Great voyage age has brought the plant to south eastern Asian countries.

Countries and cities in mid latitudes have winter, and it is not adequate for the curry leaf plant to grow outside. But a lot of south Indian people started to work outside of India, including Japan, and population of ex Tamil Nadu and Kerala where the curry leaf is a must ingredients, are increasing in such places.

In Japan, increase of southern Indian people drove the number of south Indian restaurants to increase, which increased exposure of the curry leaf and the plants to locals.

The plant can be grown in the mid latitudes?

Yes it can be. If you can secure 18-20 deg C as its ambient, the plant can be kept outside, if the ambient becomes lower than that and like to use the leaves year around, it is highly recommended to take the plants inside for overwintering. The plant does not have good winter hardiness. If your area has frost of frozen ground, it is not possible to leave the plant outside.

If the climate permits, it would grow 2 m high, but the plant could grow as high as 5 m in the tropic or high temperature ambient area.

Why not start growing the curry leaf plant ?

Now, did you find interest in the curry leaf plant? Why not start growing the plant? (to the home page top)