Curry leaves have been more of a way of life for me than just an ingredient in my South Indian kitchen which is now globalized! It has been around ever since I can remember. I have always carefully removed these leaves from my plate, that adorned the flavorful curry poured on top of steaming rice. Wonder where the flavor came from?! Of course, curry leaves played a major role, bringing aroma when seasoned with coconut oil, red chilli and mustard. The flavor is double fold when it is added in ground form with rest of the spices that typically go into south Indian cooking. As if its place is not enough in our palettes, it finds its way in hair products that the customers can testify for with their thick, black, long hair!
As a child, I was oblivious of the benign qualities of this simple leaf(well,it doesn’t have the air and hype of fenugreek leaves or mint leaves). It was just there in the household and our backyard on the big curry plant, and I knew it will be part of my grocery list when I grew into an adult. It is amazing how the consumption of curry leaves helps in healthy and shiny hair and slows premature greying and hair fall. It is also considered a great remedy for skin problems. It is believed to be rich in iron and helps prevent anemia. It has excellent anti-oxidant properties. It also has medicinal values and helps keep diabetes at bay, by keeping blood sugar levels in check. All these knowledge acquisition has brought me into chewing on the curry leaves on my plate in the vain hope of reversing my hair greying process!
What more reasons are needed to include curry leaves in your diet. They can be part of your diet starting from breakfast, with a hot plate of idli sambar and chutni, or masala dosa, all the way to dinner with a sumptuous meal of bisibelebhath and a side serving of buttermilk flavored with curry leaves and green chillies crushed with a pinch of salt. The list is endless. All you need is creativity.
I, for one am glad to be born amidst the curry leaf culture, for something great would have been amiss if it was otherwise. I look at the two pots of nurtured curry plants in my patio and feel and reminisce the simplicity that life was!!