The humble kadhi patta is found in most Indian kitchens and used in various Indian snacks and dishes. Though it lends aesthetic appeal to every dish, most people often remove it while eating not knowing that it is a powerhouse of nutrients.
Let me tell you what does it contain: carbohydrates, fibre, calcium, phosphorous, irons and a host of vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin E.
In my mother’s house, we have had a curry leaf tree since the time I can remember, right at the front gate. While cooking, she would ask one of us or she would herself pluck these leaves right off the tree. There’s a different aroma to fresh curry leaves, let me tell you. Our neighbours too benefited from the tree and plucked from it for their cooking. I purchased curry leaves from a green grocer for the first time only after coming to Mumbai, and let me tell you, I was not happy about it. It wasn’t until that moment that I realised the value of something that I had always taken for granted.
Now, let me tell you the benefits of the curry leaves:
- Protects your liver from damage
- Fights anaemia
- Keeps diabetes in check
- Controls cholesterol
- Improves digestion
- Helps in diarrhoea
- Can reduce the side effects of chemotherapy
- Treats and prevents skin infections
- Stimulates hair growth, arrests premature greying of hair
- Sharpens memory
- Fights nausea and morning sickness (if only I had known it before)
Apart from adding a few leaves to your cooking, you can consume curry leaves by:
- Chewing them raw.
- Boiling curry leaves in water and then drinking that water.
- Crush curry leaves with little water into a juice and drinking it with a pinch of rock salt and lemon juice. I add curry leaves along with other vegetables while making vegetable juice.
- For hair, I boil black sesame seed oil with curry leaves and nigella seeds for 15 mins. Once it cools down, I strain the oil and store it in a jar.
- For black lustrous hair, you can even grind curry leaves and apply this paste directly on your scalp. And then wash it off after half an hour.
I have potted a curry plant too, and it is beaming with good health. It requires much attention though as being in a pot, it is prone to infections, bugs, etc.
This is my humble attempt at growing curry leaves.
What plants have you potted in your kitchen garden?