Curry Leaf Chutney
Kari Patta Chatni
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Note from Mamta: This chutney comes from South India, mainly Kerala region. I had it for the first time on my recent visit to India in March 2008. It is so full of flavour, delicious! We later made it with roasted peanuts, fried urad (split black gram) and chana dals, again very tasty. You can experiment with other ingredients too, see below, but make sure that the predominant flavour is of curry leaves. It can be served with all kind of Indian snacks, specially Idlies and Dosas. It should be quite hot. Amounts are approximate and should be adjusted to taste.
1 cup curry leaves, washed and drained
4-5 green chillies (heat varies, so adjust to taste)
1 tbsp. tamarind or Imli pulp
Salt to taste
Optional: Other Ingredients that can be added before grinding. When adding these ingredients, keep the chutney paste slightly grainy so that you can taste them.
1 tbsp. skinless urad dal
1 tbsp. peanuts dry roasted (or fried in 1/2 tsp. oil) in a wok until it looks red..ish brown.
1 tsp. mustard seeds (rai)
2-3 dry red chillies and a pinch of asafoetida powder added to hot oil and then to curry leaves.
2-3 tbsp. fresh or desiccated coconut.
1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds.
2-3 cloves of garlic and 1 small onion.
A small piece of ‘gur’ or jaggery or 1 tsp. dark brown sugar.
A small bunch of coriander leaves.
Grind everything together to a smooth paste and adjust salt, tamarind and chillies to taste.
Also see Pickle and Chutney selection.
Curry Leaves (Hindi name Meetha Neem, Kari/Kurry patta, Kat-neem, Bursunga), Murraya koenigii Spreng are the leaves of a small tree that grows in India and Sri Lanka. Its leaves are used extensively to flavour curries and many other savoury South Indian dishes. The leaves contain calcium, phosphorous, iron, nicotinic acid and vitamin C and are said to be purifier and restorer of degenerated blood cells. Eaten regularly, they are said to strengthen liver, spleen and pancreas. Eaten raw, leaves help digestion and reduce nausea, heartburn, diarrhoea and dysentery. An infusion made from leaves helps to stops vomiting as well as restores hydration. Bark and the roots of the tree are used by many Ayurvedic physicians as a stimulant, to cure skin lesions and bites of poisonous animals. Its fruits, known as ‘Nimboli’, are sweet when ripe but have a rather unpleasant smell.