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Ingredient Spotlight: Curry Leaves

Curry Leaves

The leaves of a citrus tree, curry leaves have a pungent, lemony fresh flavor that impart a completely different flavor from the warm heat of curry powder.  Surprisingly, curry leaves also have nothing to do with curry powder, which is a blend of turmeric, coriander, cumin and other spices.

Curry leaves can be used in a variety of dishes, from shrimp to roasted vegetables. Popular in South Indian cooking, curry leaves are used to flavor rice dishes, vegetables, yogurt drinks and curry dishes.

Where you can purchase curry leaves

In appearance, curry leaves have a natural shine and deep green color. When shopping for them, look for leaves without brown spots or signs of bruising. Finding curry leaves in the grocery store may be a bit of a challenge, but you can find them in Asian or South Asian markets in the produce section. You may also find them in the freezer section. Although rare, you may come across dried and ground curry leaves. When dried, they have an amazingly intense flavor – if you are lucky enough to find these, don’t pass them up!

If this is your first time trying out curry leaves, try starting with one of these quick recipes:

 

- Alivia Duran

 

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