What are Curry Leaves?
Kari (or curry leaves) is grown all over India and has been used for centuries in South India and Sri Lanka as a flavoring for curries, chutneys, vegetables, and beverages. South Indian traders introduced it into Malaysia, Burma, and Singapore. When the British were in India, they called them curry leaves, naming it after the seasoned sauce (called kari in Tamil) that it was added to.
Indigenous to India and cultivated all over India, including the Himalayas, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, and the United States (California and Florida). Kari leaf is very fragrant when used fresh, but it loses its flavor intensity when dried.
Fresh or dried curry leaves are used whole, crushed, and chopped. Properties: the fresh leaf has a spicy, strong piney-lemony aroma, and a slightly tangerine peel-like taste.
Spice Blends: curry blends, sambar podi, rasam podi, chutney blends, and fish curry blends.
Health Benefits of Curry Leaves
The leaves, root, and bark are used as medicinal aids in India. The leaves are used to help blood circulation and menstrual problems. The fresh leaves are taken to cure dysentery, and an infusion made of roasted leaves stops vomiting. It is also recommended for relieving kidney pains. Recent studies have shown that it has a hypoglycemic action, thereby a possible treatment for diabetes, as well as found to prevent formation of free radicals. It is shown to prevent rancidity of ghee (or clarified butter).
Also called barsunga (Bengali), pindosin (Burmese), gai leu yiph (Cantonese), karry blad (Danish), kerriebladerer (Dutch), feuilles de curry (French), curryblatter (German), kari patta, meetha neem (Hindi), aley kari (Hebrew), curry levelek (Hungarian), fogli di cari (Italian), daun kari (Indonesian/ Malaysian), kore rihu (Japanese), karibue (Kannada), khibe (Laotinan), kareapela (Malayalam), kadhi limbu (Marathi), karriblader (Norwegian), folhas de caril (Portuguese), bowala (Punjabi), listya karri (Russian), karapincha (Singhalese), hojas de curry (Spanish), bizari (Swahili), bignay (Tagalog), kariveppilai (Tamil), karepeku (Telegu), bai karee (Thai), and la cari (Vietnamese).