How to Stock Curry Leaves

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Over the last weekend, the page views of my blog hit rock bottom. That along with all the frustrations of living with zero mobility in this part of KSA just added to the already sinking confidence. Friends and fellow bloggers were very supportive and not to forget my man of few words with profound meanings helped me revisit my interests. But what really cooled me down and boosted my confidence was the BAKING time I had with myself.

Yes! Yesterday I baked a Chocolate Strawberry Eggless Cake. It was my fusion experiment of two cakes and the result was mind blowing. It came so perfectly out of the mould and is spongy-melty like the black forest or truffles... OMG! I am blowing my own trumpet! You can check it on my Instagram. I will be posting the recipe on Munchin' Mondays. I am so very glad I baked.

On the blogging front, I finally sat down to put up a blog calendar where I can note down the post ideas and prepare better. So now on every Tuesdays, until I get bored or run out of ideas, I will post life hack or tips that I figured and which made my life easier in Yanbu. 

Tip for Today 

Fresh Curry Leaves
Curry leaves - Indians, especially the down south states, including Srilankan cuisines, add curry leaves to most of the recipes. From chutneys to vadas, from thokus to tadka we add it. Back in India, we had our own tree and never remembered paying for it, never had to stock it and was available all day.

Here in Yanbu, I cooked for a few weeks without curry leaves as I never found them. When I did, it was a treat for the eyes, I picked more than one packet and looked around as though I am stealing. It is like that, I never valued for this back home and now I buy them from the "imported" section. I left it as bought in the fridge and in a few days they blacken and becomes useless. I felt so bad having to pay for it and yet not being able to use it. 

Researched online on how to stock curry leaves and found the most used method was drying the leaves in the sun for a day or two. I do not have a balcony, no access to sunlight and surface together, and so that was not feasible. Next, I came across freezing them and I tried it. I personally do not like to use it after freezing, you don't get the flavour and it becomes too difficult when you have to fry in hot oil. 

Then I tried placing the string of leaves in different sections of the fridge to figure out which works better. A few packed in a cover in the cooler, a few wrapped in paper in the vegetable box, a few left opened in the last rack and some right under the first rack far behind. Don't laugh at me - I had no idea how to get this right! What happened gave me the actual solution. 

The ones I left open under the cooler dried up and was able to crush it like dried herbs. It had its strong aroma intact. Rest of them were blackened or damp. I used the dried ones in the tadka and realised it becomes brown. You don't want that to happen. So I figured all we had to do was instead of adding it in the beginning like you would do with fresh curry leaves, you have to add this dried ones at the end like you would do with any dried herbs, like oregano or basil.

Ever since that discovery, I bought 4 packets and dried them all at once. Crushed and stocked in a glass bottle.

Crushed Curry Leaves

How to Stock Curry Leaves 

  1. Select fresh packet from the store. Check the packed date to ensure the freshness. If you find any blacken leaves, then do not pick that. But if you are in Yanbu, pick it anyway! :-)
  2. Separate the leaves from the stem and wash it under clean water. This is to ensure all the pesticides and dust are removed.
  3. Place them on a dry kitchen towel and roll the towel to take out excess water.
  4. If the towel is too wet, take another towel 
  5. Spread the towel on the floor or table where there is enough sunlight from the window pane
  6. Leave it there to dry - our aim is to ensure there is no droplet of water on it. 
  7. Once water is off all the leaves, spread them on a big plate - do not crowd them together - use two plates if necessary
  8. Make enough space in the fridge to fit the plate. 
  9. Leave the plate there for a week or until you feel you can crush a leaf.
  10. Once all the leaves are dried to the extent that it can be crushed, you can transfer them into a clean glass bottle.
  11. If the recipe calls for curry leaves, use this dust over the prepared dish. 
Update: Feb 28th, 2017

While the above method still works, I have stopped crushing the dried leaves and keeping in a bottle. Instead,  I continue to keep the dried curry leaves in the fridge in an open container. This keeps its shape intact and I still use it in Tadkas as the last ingredient and don't fry it for too long. 

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2 Thoughts

  1. You know do not worry so much about numbers. Some people get lucky and get traffic fast, others like me it takes forever. I have been blogging for 7 years now. You will get there just keep it up and keep in mind this is something FOR you and everything else will fall into place with time. Do not look at the numbers and do not allow them to make you feel bad.

    So I saw fresh curry leaves for the first time at LuLu last year and had to have them, I bought them and dried them, but the looked kind black and not natural so I threw them out.

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    Replies
    1. So true, I guess I am so accustomed to "numbers" at work that it has taken over in my personal life too.. Thank you for the advice Noor! Try my steps, it will give you green dried ones.. like in the pic...

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