I generally buy fresh leaves, pat them dry and store them in the refrigerator for a few weeks. They keep quite well and hold flavor much better than when they are frozen or dried. A friend mentioned that curry leaves can be grown by sticking the stalks into a pot of soil. Really? Well, I potted my curry-stalks today and shall keep you updated about whether they take root and grow :)
The recipe I have chosen to showcase curry leaves is a very simple cabbage subzi. Subzi is the general name for dry vegetable stir-fries. These can be eaten with roti/bread or with rice and lentils. To increase the protein content of my vegetarian diet, I often make subzis with added lentils or peanuts as shown in this recipe.
1 small head cabbage, washed and shredded (about 6-8 cups)
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup hulled chana dal, soaked for 30 minutes (optional)
10-12 curry leaves
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Handful of minced cilantro
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. oil
salt to taste
- Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard and cumin seeds, let them splutter and then add onion and curry leaves.
- Stir fry for 3-4 minutes on medium heat till onions have softened.
- Add turmeric, red pepper flakes, salt to taste and stir for a few seconds.
- Add the cabbage and chana dal and stir around to coat them with spices.
- Add 1/4 cup of water and let the cabbage simmer for 10-15 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally. The subzi is done when the cabbage and chana dal is tender and the preparation is almost dry. Garnish with cilantro and dress with lemon juice just before serving.