Indian curry leaves or also called Sweet neem leaves are herbs in South India with aromatic and distinct lemon scent and pungent taste. Its taste is often compared to those of anise and lemongrass. And it may not be a dominant flavour in cooking, but it is undeniably an ingredient that gives a meal a better taste.
Curry leaves is a herb that gives flavours to meals but there is also one that does the same, only with a different taste and that is the curry powder. Albeit they have the same name, they are not the same. The curry leaves or sweet neem leaves are grown from the curry leaf tree. Meanwhile, curry powder is a mixture of different spices such as cumin and turmeric. More so, the curry leaves originated in Southern India and the curry powder is from Britain.
Aside from its unique flavour and its tag as the main ingredient of Kadhi Pakoda, curry leaves are rich in nutrients. It is abundant in vitamins A, B, B2, and C. More so, it is a good source of both iron and calcium. Thus, it has many uses.
Medicine. Although not applicable to all, curry leaves are used in an Indian holistic approach to healing. It is subjective to their culture and tradition and it is over three millennia old.
Tea. Curry leaves can be used for a tea when you boil it, or a tonic. It has a natural antibacterial property, so it has various health benefits, too. Aside from this, it also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Meals. These are spices so they add more flavour to a meal. Beyond its unique taste, it also has anti-diabetic qualities which help reduce blood sugar levels and regulate blood cholesterol.
Aid in weight loss. Curry leaves can aid in weight loss. Hence, when people are trying to lose weight, they often incorporate curry leaves into their meals. This is due to the nutrient found in the leaves that work against weight gain and that help in regulating cholesterol levels. Curry leaves are easy to consume as they can be simply munched alone or can be a part of a meal like a salad.
Treating stomach issues. For an upset stomach, curry leaves can provide comfort. Curry leaves can be milled and added to buttermilk or any other preferred milk. It can help with stomach issues such as constipation, diarrhoea, and dysentery as it can support one’s bowel movement and stimulate digestive enzymes.
Aids in pregnancy. Since curry leaves have many benefits, it can be consumed in the first trimester of pregnancy and provide aid from morning sickness. It helps in increasing digestive secretions which in turn relieves nausea and vomiting.
Eyesight. As curry leaves are rich in vitamin A, it is also believed to be good for eyesight. Vitamin A is good for eyesight because it helps in maintaining the cornea clear.