curry leaves, best source for dried and fresh

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8 Comments

Valhalla June 28, 2018
I can get them at an Indian market (in DC area), but I'm a gardener, so I got my own plant here:
https://www.logees.com/curry-leaf-murraya-koenigii.html
It's not as big as the one in the pic quite yet, but it is a lovely potted plant (it comes inside for the winter).
They also sell the makrut Thai lime plant, which is also much better fresh:
https://www.logees.com/kaffir-lime-citrus-hystrix.html
Both are easy care plants.
Unfortunately the lime leaf cannot be shipped to AZ, but garden centers may have it.
 
Ted S. June 28, 2018
Thnak you so much for your knowlegable response. I have tried to dry mint, basil, kaffir. Never with as much success as ordering fine, dried items. fresh from owns own sourse is another story. Right off the kaffir tree will blow you away...like basil. Anyway, I ordered a lim. quant of good looking dried with stems. That slows oil release. Go Food 52. thanks again. Ted S. Prescott, AZ
 
MMH June 27, 2018
I don’t know where you live but the population is quickly diversifying and markets are stepping up. We live in Omaha which has a large International food market which has added foods from many countries and doubled in size in just the last 2 years. We buy them fresh there but have had luck freezing them just the way we buy them. We looked in to buying the plants which were very expensive compared to other herb plants we have purchased. We have a friend from India who lives in Kansas City, only 2 1/2 hours south and has much greater access. I encourage you to investigate the ethnic markets.
 
702551 June 27, 2018
Well, the fresh ones aren't widely distributed to major grocery chain retail so you are pretty much forced to seek these out at Indian and Asian specialty grocery stores. You won't find fresh curry leaves at your local big box grocery.

If you live in a big metropolitan area or on the West Coast (especially the South Bay in Northern California), you might actually have a choice of stores, but many in other parts of the USA will not have so many options.

Those Indian and Asian grocery stores will also likely be the best bricks-and-mortar source of dried leaves since they are catering to a clientele who cares about curry leaves and is most likely to exhibit some discernment about the product.

Another option is to grow your own. I grow some herbs myself and I have never encouraged a store-bought fresh herb that compared to the same herb freshly picked from someone's garden (mine or someone else's). While do not grow curry leaves in my garden, I am totally convinced that if I did, it would blow doors on fresh stuff from the grocery store.

For reference, here is a blog posting about curry leaves:

https://food52.com/blog/9821-curry-leaves-and-your-favorite-ways-to-use-them

Best of luck.
 
Smaug June 27, 2018
The curry plant often sold in Bay Area nurseries is actually a Mediterranean plant (Helichrysu Italicum)- it smells sort of curryish, but is evidently pretty useless in the kitchen- I've grown it, don't remember it being particularly attractive, either. Curry leaves come from a small tree from SE Asia- don't know if it's been successfully cultivated here; I'd imagine it's pretty tender.
 
702551 June 27, 2018
According to this Epicurious post, you can have the fresh leaves delivered to you by Amazon:

https://www.epicurious.com/expert-advice/where-can-i-buy-curry-leaves-article

although the article admits that a local Indian grocer would be a better source.

A number of nurseries on Amazon will ship you a live plant (Murraya koenigii, the genuine curry tree) that you can plant.

According to this seed site,

http://seedscollector.com/500--seeds-murraya-koenigii--curryleaf-t500.html

the plants unsurprisingly do not like cold winters.

Another site

https://strictlymedicinalseeds.com/product/curry-leaf-tree-murraya-koenigii-potted-tree-organic/

says outdoor culture in Zones 10-12 but a potted plant can be moved indoors during the colder months.

Interesting, perhaps some day I will attempt to grow one. It is not a big plant, so bringing it indoors during the winter months wouldn't be too burdensome, even in my small place.
 
Smaug June 28, 2018
Certainly be worth a shot- it's a small tree, but could probably be kept in check for some years. another Murraya from the same area, the orange jessamine (Murraya Paniculata) has a fairly long history of cultivation in the west. I'll have to try to dig out my Bailey's and see if it has anything to say on the subject.
 
Smaug June 28, 2018
Nope, not much in Bailey (Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture)- evidently any history of cultivation in the west is pretty recent. I did learn that there are a couple of synonyms for the genus 9Chalcas, Bergera), that the natural range is along the foot of the Himalayas, and that the bark, leaves and roots are used in India as a tonic. And my home page is now filled with curry recipes.
 
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