Thursday, July 17, 2008

Get Preppy - Curry leaves

I get very less time to cook these days. Like every other parent. Or a busy non-parent. I do double a recipe once in a while and freeze it for later, but the taste isn't really as good as freshly cooked. So, I've resorted to prepping some stuff, these day, to help me to cook faster. The fridge and the freezer help me to get my kitchen more preppy. While the obvious advantage is that it saves me a LOT of time - with washing, prepping and then, cleanup, I've noticed that it helps me use the vegetables before they get bad. I'm sharing my preppy methods here in a new series 'Get preppy'. Feel free to share your tips and techniques too in the comments section.

We get fresh curry leaves here in Toronto. Almost every Indian/Srilankan/Pakistani grocers have them. A dollar or two fetches a nice big bag of curry leaves. Fresh. After a few days in the fridge, the leaves get drier and drier. And then they go bad.

I tried freezing them and they froze beautifully. Then, a plan emerged. As soon as I come home after grocery shopping, I got down to work. I separated the leaves from the twigs and washed them well. Then used a salad spinner to get the water out of the leaves. Alternatively, You can dry the leaves on a towel too. I then packed them in a ziplock bag and squeezed as much air outside the bag as possible.

The bag went inside the freezer. As and when I need curry leaves, I open the ziplock bag and take a few leaves and close it tight shut and put it in the freezer rack. Note :: It is very important that to put the bag inside the freezer right away, because if left out, the leaves will thaw in very few minutes. And once they thaw, you cannot refreeze them.

The curry leaves stay green and fresh for a very long time. Almost 2 months.


indosungod said...

Kay, I am looking forward to hearing about the tips. Yes I am guilty of throwing away too many spoiled curry leaves too. Will try this way to save them.

Tina Jennifer D'Silva said...

Wow.. thats a very nice tip Kay.

Kay said...

Thanks Indo and Tina. :) I was actually thinking that maybe it's too silly. ;)

Mona said...

Kay, Thats a lovely idea to share the tips. I have also been thinking of the idea of freezing these aromatic curry leaves. Thnx for sharing the tried and tested procedure of yours. What I do is I spread the leaves on a baking sheet and sun dry them for 2-3 days. These sun dried leaves can be stored in a box at room temperature in a cool dark place for months together. bUt they wont be as aromatic as the fresh leaves.

Kay said...

yeah, Sundried curryleaves are great too. I keep sme of them on hand to make sambar powder etc..