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 – 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.