Curry Leaf

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

Curry leaf is the leaf of a small tree in the citrus family, Murraya koenigii, a native of south Asia. It is primarily used in south India and Malaysia, where households often have their own plant and add it to many dishes. Despite its name, the curry leaf doesn’t taste like Indian curries; it is mild and subtle, with woody, fresh notes. Curry leaves are added to stews or other simmered dishes, or briefly sautéed to flavor a cooking oil. They are also remarkable for containing unusual alkaloids (carbazoles) with antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties.