Curry leaves are one of the oldest used flavoring agents that has been used in the India Subcontinent. Along with with flavorful aroma and taste, they are packed with nutrients to provide a lot of health benefits. The are of great help for people suffering from indigestion and other gastrointestinal problems. Consuming curry leaves can help a lot in improving your digestive system and well as protect your liver. Curry leaves are also believed to held in fighting cancer.
It is not just the flavor and the aroma, but the health benefits of curry leaves that have made them become an integral part of south asian kitchens. Go ahead and try a few of the recipes listed to gain the nutrition as well as the taste of curry leaves.
The traditional Indian curry is quite popular all across the world now. Although, it does not mean that the name curry has been given to the dish(s) based on the particular ingredient that is curry leaf, yet it remains to be the most predominant ingredient in South Indian and SriLankan cuisine.
The curry plant is typically found in the equatorial regions of the Indian Subcontinent. However, due to its popularity, the curry leaves can be bought from any market now.
The flavor of the curry leaves is highly dependent on its freshness, therefore, a lot of people grow it in their kitchen garden. The plant does not need any special care, as a result of which it can be easily grown in kitchens all across the world.
Curry leaf is used in a variety of forms in multiple types of dishes. They can be used as fresh leaves to for their flavor and aroma. They can be used in curries to enhance the taste or be a part of salad dressing. The curry leaf can also be dried and powdered and used as a flavoring agent. Sometime, fresh curry leaves can be made into the form of a paste and used as a dip or chutney. In any form, the humble curry leaf has found its way into the world’s kitchen.
Apart from being great in taste, the curry leaf is packed with health benefits. In Ayurvedic and traditional medicine, curry leaves have been used for their health benefits and healing properties. Some of the health benefits of curry leaves include such as anti-diabetic, antioxidants, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. In some cases, the curry leaves are believed to be anti-carcinogenic as well. They are also considered to help keep your liver healthy. In traditonal medicine, the roots of the curry leaf plant are used for treating body aches. The bark of the plant is still used for snake bite relief in a lot of remote parts of India and SriLanka.
There are many more health benefits that curry leaves bring to the table, read the entire article to know how can they be beneficial to you.
Interested in using curry leaves in your everyday life but not sure about the recipes? You can visit some of these sites to learn delicious recipes that use the curry leaf as an ingredient.
1) Curry Leaf Information and Recipes – TarlaDalal.Com
2) Curry Leaf Chutney and Dips – Vegetarian Recipes of India
3) Curry Leaf Recipes – KamalasCorner
Some other sources to know more about curry leaves and their health benefits
1) Curry Tree
Curry Leaves is used as a tempering imparting subtle aroma to the dishes. It is a very popular seasoning in Asia, especially in curries where they’re used fried in tempering for rasams, sambhar, dals, chutneys, dhoklas and upmas.
Storage: Curry Leaves don’t have a long shelf life so it should be wrapped in a moist kitchen towel or newspaper and then store in the refrigerator.
Cleaning & Cutting: Clean, wash the curry leaves, pat dry them and place them on a chopping board and cut them into finely or roughly chopped or torn pieces as per recipe requirements.
How to Buy: While buying curry leaves ensure that the leaves are fresh and it should not have any cuts, spots or blemishes. They will be pale green or dark green in colour depending on the variety. Its better to purchase leaves which are attached to the stem so that they have a better shelf life.
Special Steps: Dry leaves can be stored but lose most of their aromatics. Wet leaves break down quickly so avoid storing them wet. They do not have a very long shelf life.
TIP: Detach the leaves from the stem only before cooking.
Curry leaves popularly called curry patta are a rich source of vitamin A, calcium and folic acid. Being a fairly good source of folic acid, the leaves can also help in absorption of iron
Mineral Content: The main nutrients found in curry leaves are carbohydrates, energy, fiber, calcium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, folate, Manganese and copper.
Vitamin & Compounds: It also contains various vitamins like nicotinic acid and vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin E, Vitamin K, antioxidants, plant sterols, amino acids, glycosides and flavonoids.
Water Content: Curry Leaves is percent water by weight.
Carbohydrate Content: Curry Leaves provide only calories per 100 g
Curry leaves have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is used as a cure for diarrhea and stomach ulcers. It is said to be beneficial for the skin and for people with diabetes. Curry leaves also aid in digestion.
Anemia: Curry leaves are a rich source of iron and folic acid. Folic acid is mainly responsible for carrying and helping the body absorb iron, and since Curry Leave is a rich source of both the compounds it is your one-stop natural remedy to beat anaemia.
Fights diabetes: Not only does Curry Leaves help lower the blood sugar levels, but also keeps in check for a few days after the administration of curry leaves. Curry leaves help your blood sugar levels by affecting the insulin activity of the body and reduces ones blood sugar levels. Also the type and amount of fiber contained within the leaves play a significant role in lowering blood sugar levels. So, if you suffer from diabetes, Curry Leaves is the best natural method to keeping your blood sugar levels in check.
Improves digestion: Curry leaves is known to help improve digestion and alter the way your body absorbs fat, thereby helping you lose weight. Since weight gain is one of the leading causes of diabetes, kadi patta treats the problem right at the root.
Lowers cholesterol: Many research shows that Curry leaves have properties that can help in lowering one’s blood cholesterol levels. Packed with antioxidants, curry leaves prevent the oxidation of cholesterol that forms LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). This in turn helps in increasing the amount of good cholesterol (HDL) and protects your body from conditions like heart disease and atherosclerosis.
Prevents greying of hair: Curry leaves has always been known to help in preventing greying of the hair. It is also very effective in treating damaged hair, adding bounce to limp hair, strengthening the shaft of thin hair, hair fall and treats dandruff. The best part about this benefit is that you can either choose to eat the curry leaves to help with your hair woes or apply it to your scalp as a remedy.
Protects your liver from damage: If you are a heavy drinker, eat a lot of fish or indulge in other activities that could be damaging your liver, then curry leaves are best for you. Curry leaves were highly effective in protecting the liver from oxidative stress.
Relieve from Diarrhoea: Even though curry leaves have mildly laxative properties, it is a great remedy for diarrhoea. This because Curry Leaves contains carbazole alkaloids that lend it anti bacterial and anti inflammatory properties that help heal an upset stomach. Apart from that, curry leaves are also known to balance out all the three doshas in the body and reduce the amount of pitta in the stomach a side effect of diarrhoea according to Ayurveda.
Can reduce the side effects of chemotherapy: Curry leaves have the amazing ability to protect the body from the ill effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It not only protects the chromosomes from damage but also protects the bone marrow and halts the production of free radicals in the body. This astonishing ability of the leaf could also indicate an ability to protect the body from cancers.
Reduces congestion in the chest and nose: If you suffer from a wet cough, sinusitis or chest congestion, kadi patta is a very effective home remedy to relieve the symptoms. Packed with vitamin C, A and compounds such as kaempferol that is a very potent anti inflammatory, anti bacterial, anti fungal, decongestant and antioxidative agent, curry leaves can help loosen up and release congested mucous.
Can help heal and reduce skin infections: Kadi patta contains very strong anti-oxidant properties , anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-protozoal properties. This makes a great home remedy for common skin infections like acne and fungal infections of the nail that are often difficult to treat.
Antioxidant Properties: Curry leaves is a good source of antioxidants. he presence of various vitamins like vitamin A, B, C and E help in reducing oxidative stress and free radical scavenging activity. Curry leaves can be added to your curries, vegetable stews and soups. They are also available in dried powder form.
Fights Cancer: The chemical constituents found in curry leaves such as phenols are helpful in fighting cancers such as leukemia, prostate cancer and colorectal cancers.
Good for Eyesight: Curry leaves contain high amounts of vitamin A and are therefore good for eyesight. Vitamin A contains carotenoids which protect the cornea, which is the eye surface. Deficiency of vitamin A may cause night blindness, cloud formations in front of the eye and even the loss of vision loss in some cases.
Protects Against Pathogen Attack: Research on curry leaves has revealed that they are also effective in fighting bacterial and fungal infections. The leaf extracts from the plant have been comparable to popular, mainstream antibiotic drugs.
Skin care: Curry leaves are also helpful in skin care. The juice or paste of the leaves can be applied on burns, cuts, bruises, skin irritations and insect bites for quick recovery and clean healing.
Increased Risk of Bleeding: The turmeric in curry powder is known to slow down blood clotting. If you are already taking anticoagulant medications substances that inhibit blood clotting, eating curry could increase the risk. Medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, clopidogrel, diclofenac and others. If you’re scheduled for surgery, it’s a good idea to abstain from eating curry powder for two or more weeks before the procedure to avoid excess bleeding during or after surgery.
Gastroesophageal Reflux and Digestive Distress: Curry powder is likely safe in moderate amounts. Because of the turmeric in curry, however, some people may experience stomach upset, nausea, dizziness or diarrhea. The National Institutes of Health reports turmeric may intensify stomach problems such as gastroesophageal reflux disease and advises you avoid turmeric if you experience symptoms of GERD.
Here are some more delicious recipes that you can make at your home and bring the goodness of curry leaves to your diet.
1) Curry Leaves Chutney: A great dip for all your snacks. The tangy taste will leave everyone mesmerized.
2) Spicy Curry Leaves Rice: You have tried the normal boiled rice, try this one and surprise every one.
3) Garlic Curry Leaves Podi: Have not even heard of it? Learn how to make one now.
4) Curry Leaves with Butter Milk: A mildly flavored delicacy which goes with any food you prepare.