Curry leaves are an indispensable ingredient of the Indian cuisine.Curry leaves are the richest source of micro nutrients ,antioxidants and carotene.100g of fresh curry leaves provide 110 calories.
Curry leaves are used as a digestive in Ayurvedic medicine.They are also used to increase the appetite of convalescents.Curry leaves mixed with lime juice is a folk remedy for morning sickness. Curry leaves are also known to control the blood cholesterol level,so the next time you find curry leaves in an Indian meal, don't be tempted to throw them away,just chew them and enjoy the flavor.
Now some good news for women... :) These leaves are a good hair tonic.Take a handful of leaves and heat with a cup of coconut oil till the leaves turn black.Cool and bottle[straining it is optional,the charred curry leaves will settle down at the bottom].Apply this oil to the scalp and watch your tresses turn long and strong!This also helps to prevent graying .If you feel this is a stenuous process,then just chew a couple of curry leaves everyday.
Coming to the cuisine part,Curry leaves add their flavour when the food is seasoned with these leaves.There are some preparations that make use of curry leaves alone,like curry leaves chutney,curry leaf powder and curry leaves flavoured rice.
Curry leaves rice can be prepared with curry leaf powder, but what I prepared today is with fresh curry leaves.
We have 3 large curry leaf shrubs in the backyard and with a bounty of curry leaves,mom prepared curry leaf powder and still had a lot more fresh curry leaves left that I thought of preparing curry leaf flavored rice using fresh curry leaves.
Fresh curry leaves - a handful
Cooked rice - 1 cup [Grains should be separate]
Oil -2 teaspoons
Urad dhal -1 tablespoon
Channa dhal/gram dhal -1 tablespoon
Salt to taste
Mustard- 1 teaspoon
urad dhal-1/2 teaspoon
Channa dhal/gram dhal-1/2 teaspoon
Heat a little oil in a pan and put in the curry leaves and saute for a couple of minutes.Remove from heat and keep aside.
Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in the same pan and put in the channa dhal ,urad dhal and pepper and fry till the dhal turns brown.Remove from heat and cool.
Grind the dhals first in a mixer [just a few shots] and then add the curry leaves to make a 'not-so-coarse' powder.
In a bowl ,put in the cooked rice and the curry leaves powder.
Heat oil and put in the seasonings.Wait till the mustard crackles and dhal turns brown.Pour over the rice.Add salt.Mix well and serve as such or with any raita/curd.
Labels: Cooking with herbs / flowers, Curry Leaves, Herbs, Rendezvous with Rice, Vegan varieties