The problem with ordering curry leaves online is that you have more leaves than you know what to do with. Meenakshi Ammal came to my rescue with "Cook and See" (Samaithu Paar), the go-to recipe book for all Tamil kitchens.
I made Karuveppalai Thuvaiyal, a thick coarsely ground chutney of curry leaves, tamarind, red chillies, urad dal, mustard and asafoetida. Curry leaves pack a wallop in terms of nutrition. They contain calcium, phosphorous, irons and vitamins (C, A, B, E). But the damn thing can be bitter, so Meenakshi Ammal advises using tender leaves and enough spices to offset it. The asafoetida, tamarind and mustard give it a kick, the red chillies and salt give it bite. I didn't have tender leaves, so I cheated and added a teeny bit of sugar. Shhhhh. No one will know!
- 4 big handfuls of leaves (only one handful is on the plate in the photo)
-Marble sized tamarind 8 red chillies
- 2 teaspoons urad dal
- 3/4 teaspoon mustard
- Hing (asafoetida to taste)
Wash leaves. Fry chillies, mustard and lentils in oil. Grind with tamarind, salt, hing.
Pro tip: grind masalas coarsely and then add the leaves to grinder. This one works best if ground by hand on a stone, the old fashioned way. The mixer doesn't quite help with the sort of coarse consistency you want. I ended up doubling the urad dal because I wanted more of that lentil feel. I also added sugar like I said, and a twist of lime because I thought the tamarind was not tamarindy enough.
If you'd like to learn how to make a range of pickles, preserves and chutneys, we have workshops in Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai.