Curry leaves are versatile, known for their characteristic aroma and flavour. They are cheap and have amazing health benefits. I love them so much and hate to see even a single leaf go bad. So whether you pluck them from a plant or buy a pack of these leaves from the supermarket, treasure and preserve them for future use by following these steps:
- Separate the leaves from the stems and transfer in a colander.
- Gently wash and rinse them.
- Place the leaves in a kitchen towel and pat dry.
- They will still be wet, so spread them on a cheesecloth or muslin cloth to air dry for four hours.
- Transfer dried leaves in a bowl.
- Drizzle few drops of vegetable or canola oil on the leaves.
- Toss lightly with your fingers to coat each leaf with oil.
- Place leaves in a plastic container and freeze.
- As and when required, use leaves directly for cooking. Freeze the rest.
- Leaves stay well for six months or longer.
- When frozen, the leaves turn crisp (last picture below) and hence, I prefer keeping them safely in a container to help retain their shape. Avoid freezing them in a ziploc bag, where they have a tendency to break, in case the bag is touched or moved around in the freezer.
- The purpose of coating the leaves with oil is to prevent them from freezer burn.
- Follow the above steps to preserve basil, mint or kaffir lime leaves.
To maintain a curry leaf plant and know some of its health benefits, click here.