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Suvir Saran

Identity Crisis:

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IDENTITY CRISIS: Will the real curry leaf please stand up?

By Monica Bhide

bhideblue.jpg

www.deliciousindia.com

" In all my years of teaching Indian cooking, the number one question I get is on curry leaves. The misunderstood of all Indian spices and herbs, it often gets wrongly substituted with curry powder.  You could not be further away from the truth. Commercial curry powder was created by the British in the 1700’s. It's a blend of many spices —  cumin, coriander, cinnamon, fenugreek, mustard seeds among others - but never curry leaves........."

CLICK HERE to read more from this piece by our own Monica Bhide

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i've made a recipe from Chef Floyd Cardoz (Tabla, NYC) which is similar to the recipe in the article. it's a beef tenderloin, coated with crushed curry leaves (and some other ingredients). it's a great dish served cold at picnics or tailgating or whatever.

curry leaves

cumin

dried chili

ginger

garlic

soy

pepper

oil

rubbed on steak. grill.

served with horseradish/ginger raiti.


Edited by tommy (log)

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Nice article, nothing surprising to me in it. Oh, and count me as someone who likes to eat the curry leaves.

In other news: Hey, Monica is cute! :biggrin:


Michael aka "Pan

 

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i've made a recipe from Chef Floyd Cardoz (Tabla, NYC) which is similar to the recipe in the article.  it's a beef tenderloin, coated with crushed curry leaves (and some other ingredients).  it's a great dish served cold at picnics or tailgating or whatever. 

curry leaves

cumin

dried chili

ginger

garlic

soy

pepper

oil

rubbed on steak.  grill.

served with horseradish/ginger raiti.

This sounds really good... do you crush the leaves or create a puree?


Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Nice article, nothing surprising to me in it. Oh, and count me as someone who likes to eat the curry leaves.

In other news: Hey, Monica is cute!  :biggrin:

:blush: Thank you!

Pan, what dishes do you prepare with curry leaves? Please do share.

Suvir -- how about you... what are your favorites?


Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Monica:

I hardly ever cook nowadays; it's my father who makes dishes with curry leaves. Some of them are sort of lamb stews, but I also recall that when he's made Aviyal it's included plenty of curry leaves. He gets recipes from the several Madhur Jaffrey books he has, Coleman Marks' book on Regional Indian Cooking and some other sources, and he sometimes modifies recipes to produce his own versions. Recently, he made kebabs with ground chicken dipped in panko, which was a success. But it didn't have any curry leaves in it.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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Monica, I use copious amounts of curry leaves for a Northern cook.

I have recipes that are traditionally Southern Indian and then those I have made through experimentation in the kitchen.

Aviyal, Sambhaar, Rassam, Chutneys (from the South) and some of the rice preparations I make all have curry leaves.

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I recently learned how to make sambar and south India aloo from my mother in-law (who is Punjabi, but makes amazing dosas!).

Anyway, it is hard to get curry patta in Northern Virignia. So, my mother-in-law told me that when I do find some, I should wash, dry and freeze it immediately. So, now I have curry patta whenever I need it.

Thought I would share this great hint!

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Curry leaves are one of my all time favorite flavorings--- especially combined with popped mustard seeds.

I use them in South Indian dishes mostly.

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Adding to this thread after a weekend conversation with Praveen Anand, executive chef of Dakshin, the ITC Welcomngroups's South Indian speciality restaurant that started in Madras and now has branches in other cities in India.

Chef Praveen was in Bombay in connection with the festival of Madaliar cooking that's being held this week at the Dakshin in the ITC Grand Maratha. I tend to avoid food festivals, since I find them rather artificial occasions and no real test of a restaurant's capabilities, but I made an exception here since Chef Praveen is a really nice guy and one of the most knowledgeable people about the intricacies of different types of South Indian cooking.

(If anyone is in Bombay and wants to go for this, I'd say that Mudaliar food is never going to set the books on fire - even literally, since its noticeably less hot than other types of Southern non-veg cooking like Andhra or Chettiar. But its pleasant enough and two dishes are outstanding - mutton chops coated in a pepper mixture (no chillies, which according to Praveen indicates its a really old recipe, predating the introduction of chillies from the West) and prawns cooked with drumstick tree leaves which was fantastic, the leaves adding a faint bitterness that very well contrasted with the prawns).

But coming to the curry leaves, one of the things Praveen told me in passing was that one trick he did quite often, for example with the mutton chops I mentioned, was right at the end, to finish them off with a dusting of powdered dried curry leaves. He said that quite a few south Indian cooks did this, adding the powdered dried curry leaves as a final aromatic touch before serving the dish,

Vikram

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i am just getting into preparing india food....what would be a good book to get some history on the differences in the regions? some of the different spices, meats etc?

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