Sweet Neem or Curry Leaves: 6 Ways to Use It in Your Meals

Tania Tarafdar

PM Modi and Bear Grylls made a bunch of Indians google 'sweet neem' after Discovery India aired the much-awaited episode of Man Vs Wild. Sweet neem leaves commonly known as curry leaves are a mainstay of Indian cuisine, and anyone who has even heard of Indian cuisine knows what curry is. But curry leaves not just bring great taste to the table. The dark green leaves are powerhouses of nutrients and have a plethora of health benefits. They also have a place of pride in traditional medicine like Ayurveda. Here are ways you can use curry leaves.

Also Read | Weight Loss Tip of the Week: How to Use Kadi Patta (Curry Leaves) to Lose Weight

1 Combine with Indian Spices

If you are an Indian, we surely do not need to tell you how you can add curry leaves to your curries. But if you are a newcomer to the kitchen, simply fry some curry leaves in ghee or oil with other Indian spices, such as mustard seeds and cumin, and then stir into any curry. They taste delicious with chopped tomatoes and fresh corn kernels, so you may just like to saute these ingredients and have them as a snack on the go!

2 Make a chutney

Apart from adding them to your dal, rasam, and curries, you can use whole sprigs of fresh curry leaves to prepare chutney.  Try grinding the leaves with coconut, chilies, and tamarind to make a delicious chutney. You may also add some garlic and sprinkle some lemon juice if you like for that zesty favour. Here's how to use curry leaves to cure acne and stop hairfall. 

Also Read | Curry Leaves for Hair and Skin: How Kadi Patta Can Cure Acne and Stop Hairfall (Watch Video)

3 Whip a Dip

You can also use curry leaves to prepare a dip for your sandwiches.  Simply add a cup of curry leaves, 1/4th cup fresh ginger, juice of one lime, toasted cumin, two green chilles to a food processor. Process until smooth and add salt to taste. You can also enjoy this dip with toasted crostini.

4 Temper as Tadka

Curry leaves beautifully pairs with asafoetida and so add it as a tadka at the start or finish of any dish. Don’t hesitate to experiment with tadka in dishes outside of Indian cooking. It can work wonders on stews and Italian sauces as well. Cooked curry leaf can also be used to finish dishes.

5 Experiment with Dried Curry Leaves

Generally, dried curry leaves are air-dried or oven-dried to produce longer shelf life. You can use dried curry leaves in recipes that call for baking or roasting of fresh curry leaves before the leaves are added as flavouring. When cooking with dried curry leaves, only a third of the amount is necessary when compared with fresh leaves. Dried curry leaves can be added to vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes alike.

6 Add Curry Leaves Powder to  Dals and Rasam

You can also use curry leaves powder in your sambar, rasam and veggies. Just don’t overdo it as it can have a strong flavour. You can also simply add curry leaves powder to your dal and temper it with other spices for a flavourful comfort meal.

Also try crushing some curry leaves in your pizza along with the oregano and thank us later!