December 15, 2008

Curry Leaves Chutney Recipe | Karuveppilai Chutney Recipe

Curry leaves or Karuveppilai are one of the staple herbs of Indian cooking. Its the one herb that we cannot do without and you will find this in practically every Indian kitchen, or shall I say refrigerator :) However limited space people have around their houses and apartments, its not uncommon to see at least one curry leaves plant that is carefully watered and tended to. My mom has about three plants around the house and my sis has practically a tree growing out of her backyard.

The house we moved into first in Singapore had 3 plants outside the front door. A neem plant, a money plant and curry leaves! The other 2 died when I went to India for 3 weeks but the curry leaves plant harbored on and was still standing strong and healthy when we moved out 2 weeks back. I miss breaking out fresh sprigs of curry leaves while cooking but some good things must come to an end.

Fresh Karuveppilai or Curry Leaves
However, I didn't leave before I made this super-quick chutney one day. As we know, curry leaves are just added for flavor to dishes and most of us remove them from our servings before we eat, but they are said to have high iron content. No wonder my grandma used to force me to eat them and promised a head full of lustrous hair if I did! Our maid of so many years, Mary, loves the flavor of curry leaves and any dish made by her is sure to have a generous amount of these lovely-smelling leaves.

I have gone on and on, quite uncharacteristically but I guess that shows my love for curry leaves.

Curry Leaves Chutney | Karuveppilai Chutney Recipe - Curry Leaves Chutney Recipe

Curry Leaves Chutney - Karuveppilai Thogayal Recipe
Makes ~ 1 cup chutney


Curry leaves - 2 cups (just throw them in loose)
Grated coconut (fresh or frozen) - 3/4 cup
Tamarind paste - 1 tsp (mix in 1 tbsp warm water to a marble-sized amount and squueze well)
Dried red chillies - 2 to 3, depending on taste
Hing / asafoetida / kaayam / perungayam - a pinch
Garlic - 2 pods (optional)
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste

How to Make Curry Leaves Chutney:

1. Heat oil and add the red chillies and garlic (if using), making sure they don't burn by lowering the heat.

2. Now add all the other ingredients and fry for about 5 minutes, until the curry leaves turn slightly brittle and the coconut turns a light brown.

3. Remove from fire, cool and grind well.

Curry Leaves Chutney | Karuveppilai Chutney Recipe - Curry Leaves Chutney Recipe
Karuveppilai Chutney tastes great with warm rice and some curd or pickle. The flavour of the curry leaves really goes well with the rest of the spices and makes for an easy, tasty, and nutritious meal.

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