To me, cooking is a passion… more often than not it is a good stress buster. If given a choice and time, I would always prefer my heirloom recipes, that are simple but soulful and cooked in a traditional way using fresh natural ingredients…most importantly that were fondly prepared and fed with love by my Grandmas.
However, in today’s fast paced world…while juggling between home, work and various social commitments, quick and easy dishes become handy. So, I have always tried to find out an easy way to incorporate authentic but elaborate recipes into my daily food…certainly that are packed with fresh, regional veggies and herbs, lentils and pulses etc…
Here is an authentic recipe in which curry leaves plays a major role…aromatic, tangy and spicy, multi-purpose “Curry Leaves Spice Paste” is one basic recipe for numerous authentic South Indian dishes that are prepared instantly with the original taste intact.
Curry Leaves (Karuveppilai in Tamil) Spice Paste is best suited for those who can’t spend much time in kitchen but desire to cook and nourish their loved ones with traditional dishes.
What makes this versatile recipe stand out is the generous use of curry leaves…With its citrusy distinctive aroma, this Superherb enhances the flavor, taste and health quotient of the dishes.
The recipe calls for simple ingredients that are common in all Indian kitchens. Though the process involves roasting, grinding, simmering but once you prepare this paste in bulk and refrigerate, you are sure to cook and relish authentic sambar, rasam, kootu varieties at any moment.
Curry Leaves Spice Paste
- Thick Bottomed Kadai
- Mixer Grinder
- 1 cup Curry Leaves washed, pat dried
- big lemon sized Imli/Tamarind
- small gooseberry sized Jaggery/Gud
- Salt to taste
- ½ tsp Haldi
- 1 tbsp Til/Sesame Oil
- 2 tsp Desi Ghee
- 2 tbsp Coriander Seeds heaped
- 1 tbsp Arhar/Thuvar Dal leveled
- 1½ tbsp Chana Dal leveled
- ½ tbsp Urad Dal white, splited
- 1½ tsp Jeera
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 4 Nos Red Chillies
- ¼ tsp Mustard Seeds
- ¼ tsp Jeera
- ¼ tsp Urad Dal optional
- ½ tsp Hing/Asafoetida
- 5 or 6 Nos Curry Leaves roughly torn
- 3 tbsp Til/Sesame Oil
- Wash and pat dry the curry leaves.
- Soak imli in a cup of warm water for 15 mins.
- Extract the thick pulp from the soaked imli. Keep it aside.
- Dry roast one by one all the ingredients given under 'To Grind', till nice aroma emits.
- In a mixer jar, add the roasted ingredients along with curry leaves and grind it into a thick fine paste.
- Take a heavy bottomed vessel, heat 3 tbsp of sesame oil.
- Add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add the remaining ingredients given for tadka. Saute till the urad dal turns golden in colour.
- Add the extracted imli juice, haldi, jaggery and salt. Bring it to boil.
- Add the grounded paste and mix well.
- Let it simmer till it thickens.
- Keep stirring periodically till it forms a thick paste.
- Add a tbsp of sesame oil and 2 tsp of desi ghee. Mix well and switch off the flame.
- Let it cool. Store it in a clean, dry container.
- This spice paste stays good for about 1 week at room temperature and almost 2 months when refrigerated.
Here, I have give some brief ideas on how we can go about with this Curry Leaves Spice Paste basic recipe in our daily cooking…
- In addition to these dishes, you can also prepare any kind of kootu, pepper rasam, kalyana rasam, milagu kuzhlambu, sambar varieties with any veggies like onion, garlic, capsicum, keerai and more.
- In all the above said dishes, please adjust the amount of Curry Leaves/Karuveppilai Spice Paste as per your preference.