Baking Hermann
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Curry Leaves Ice Cubes

Curry leaves, known for their distinctive aroma and robust flavour, are a staple ingredient in many Indian and Southeast Asian cuisines. These vibrant green leaves, often used fresh, add a unique depth and complexity to a variety of dishes, from curries and soups to chutneys and stir-fries. Rich in antioxidants and packed with essential nutrients, curry leaves not only enhance the taste of your meals but also offer numerous health benefits.

Curry leaves grow in abundance in India and are easily available in most shops for a few rupees. But if you live elsewhere you might find it difficult to source them. The trouble is that curry leaves are an incredibly aromatic and delicious addition to Indian food. From fragrant tempering to spice mixes, they can add the magical touch that makes the dish taste like a portal to another culture. In other words, you really don’t want to miss out on them.

Slowly, specialty stores and online retailers are picking up on the demand for curry leaves and a few Indian-oriented shops have started stocking them. Yet usually those shops just happen to be on the other side of town. And unless you want to pay a hefty fee for shipping a bag of fresh leaves, it’s unlikely that you’ll venture out to that one shop every time you need the leaves.

The other problem is that, unless you use them daily, you must likely only need one or two handful of the leaves, leaving you with the rest of the bunch. Too many times have I simply chucked the leftover bag of curry leaves into the freezer, thinking that I could simply thaw and use them when needed. Once thawed, the leaves oxidise and turn dark brown, giving them an astringent flavour and none of their beautiful aroma. Luckily, there’s another way to store them, which is where this hack comes in.

When I stumbled upon twinsbymyside’s Instagram Reel about storing curry leaves in ice cubes, I instantly gave it a go. After thawing them, they came out vibrant green. Once dried, the leaves do get a few darker spots all over, but they mostly keep their green colour and fresh aroma. Even when used in the tempering for the coconut chutney below, they stayed vibrant green, adding their iconic fragrance.

What Are Curry Leaves?

Curry leaves are aromatic herbs derived from the curry tree (Murraya koenigii), which is native to India and Sri Lanka. They are small, vibrant green leaves and a fundamental ingredient in South Asian cuisine, particularly in Indian and Sri Lankan dishes. They possess a distinct, strong aroma that is often described as a blend of citrus and anise.

    

Dishes with curry leaves that you need to try:

How to Store Curry Leaves For Up To A Year:

Ingredients

Method

Tear off the curry leaves, then give them a rinse in a bowl of water. Add a few leaves to each cube of an ice cube tray (the amount depends on the size of the tray and the leaves, but I usually add 5-10 to each). Fill the cubes with water, pressing the leaves down to submerge them as much as possible, then freeze for up to 12 months

Optional: You can remove the frozen cubes from the tray and store them in a container in the freezer to free up the tray.

To use them, simply place the ice cubes in a bowl of warm water until entirely thawed (around 5 minutes). Then transfer to a clean kitchen towel, dry well and use as instructed.

Curry Leaves Ice Cubes

Curry leaves, known for their distinctive aroma and robust flavour, are a staple ingredient in many Indian and Southeast Asian cuisines. These vibrant green leaves, often used fresh, add a unique depth and complexity to a variety of dishes, from curries and soups to chutneys and stir-fries. Rich in antioxidants and packed with essential nutrients, curry leaves not only enhance the taste of your meals but also offer numerous health benefits.
Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Tear off the curry leaves, then give them a rinse in a bowl of water. Add a few leaves to each cube of an ice cube tray (the amount depends on the size of the tray and the leaves, but I usually add 5-10 to each). Fill the cubes with water, pressing the leaves down to submerge them as much as possible, then freeze for up to 12 months
  • Optional: You can remove the frozen cubes from the tray and store them in a container in the freezer to free up the tray.
  • To use them, simply place the ice cubes in a bowl of warm water until entirely thawed (around 5 minutes). Then transfer to a clean kitchen towel, dry well and use as instructed.
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