|Curry Leaf Tree|
Its leaves are used in many dishes in India and neighbouring countries. Often used in curries, the leaves generally called by the name "curry leaves", though they are also translated as "sweet neem leaves" in most Indian languages (as opposed to ordinary neem leaves which are bitter).
It is a small tree, growing 4–6 m (13–20 feet) tall, with a trunk up to 40 cm diameter. The leaves are pinnate, with 11-21 leaflets, each leaflet 2–4 cm long and 1–2 cm broad. They are highly aromatic. The flowers are small, white, and fragrant. The small black shiny berries are edible, but their seeds are poisonous.
The species name commemorates the botanist Johann König.
The leaves are highly valued as seasoning in southern and west-coast Indian cooking, and Sri Lankan cooking, especially in curries, usually fried along with the chopped onion in the first stage of the preparation. They are also used to make thoran, vada, rasam and kadhi. In their fresh form, they have a short shelf life, and they don't keep well in the refrigerator. They are also available dried, though the aroma is largely inferior.
Although most commonly used in curries, leaves from the curry tree can be used in many other dishes to add flavor. In Cambodia, Khmer toast the leaves in open flame or roasted it to a crunch and crushed it into a soured soup dish called Maju Krueng.
Seeds must be ripe and fresh to plant; dried or shrivelled fruits are not viable. One can plant the whole fruit, but it's best to remove the pulp before planting in potting mix that is kept moist but not wet.
Stem cuttings can be also used for propagation.
- "Murraya koenigii information from NPGS/GRIN". www.ars-grin.gov. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Murraya koenigii.|
- Gernot Katzer's Herb Pages on curry leaves
- Plant Cultures: botany, history and uses of curry leaf plant