Updated: Nov 17, 2022
Plant family: Rutaceae
Curry leaves are extremely fragrant, an essential component of South Indian cuisine, and can be used in a wide array of dishes. They can be hard to find outside of a well-stocked Indian grocery store, though, so why not grow your own? These subtropical trees grow well in Texas. They make nice container plants that can be brought in during winter for harvesting leaves year-round or can be planted directly in the garden (they'll freeze down to the ground in the winter, but keep the base well-mulched and they’ll come back from the roots in the spring).
Pruning curry trees
Most people like to keep their curry trees bushy so they produce an abundance of leaves. To do this, just chop off the tops of the branches to shape your tree as desired. Curry trees are quite hardy and will quickly shoot out new growth from where they were cut, resulting in a bushier tree.
Curry Trees For Wildlife
Curry trees provide a nice shaded retreat space for wildlife and the birds seem to love the berries.
Cooking with Curry Leaves
Use curry leaves like bay leaves and add them whole when cooking lentils, soups, stews, and rice dishes. Or our favorite way to work with them is to simmer them in oil with onions, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds, then add whatever vegetables you want, and include other spices like garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, turmeric, paprika, fenugreek leaves. We also like powdering curry leaves and making our own spice blends, infused oils, and infused honeys. Our homemade curry powder and curry honey can be found on our online shop.
The curry tree is our favorite plant (ok we probably say that about a lot of plants), but this one truly is a favorite. We have several in pots, several in the ground that come back every year, and one in the ground that we protect extra well over the winter so it recovers more quickly from freezes. It’s turned into a beast! We also grow lots curry tree babies and almost always have them to sell. Here’s how to buy a curry tree from us.
We’ll keep adding to this post as we’re able to. Here are some resources and cooking ideas in the meantime:
https://www.indianhealthyrecipes.com/karivepaku-podi-curry-leaves-powder-rice/ https://www.indianhealthyrecipes.com/curry-leaves-chutney/ https://www.thebetterindia.com/260979/curry-leaf-superfood-diabetes-cholesterol-healthy-food-science/