Murraya koenigii Spreng.
Family : Rutaceae
Other names: Nim leaf
The fresh leaves of Murraya koenigii
are generally used. Its sensoric quality is fresh and pleasant,
remotely reminiscent of tangerines. The origin of this plant is
in Southern India and Sri Lanka.
The curry leaf plant is a tropical
tree of the citrus family. The long slender leaflets are dark green
on top and paler underside. The leaves have a strong, warm curry
aroma when bruised or rubbed.
Aroma and flavour
Fresh leaves may contain up to 2.6%
essential oil. The following aroma components have been identified
(in parentheses, the content in mg/kg fresh leaves): beta-caryophyllene
(2.6 ppm), beta-gurjunene (1.9), beta-elemene (0.6), beta-phellandrene
(0.5), beta-thujene (0.4), alpha-selinene (0.3), beta-bisabolene
(0.3), furthermore limonene, beta-trans-ocimene and beta-cadinene
Curry leaves are extensively used
in Southern India and Sri Lanka (and are absolutely necessary for
the authentic flavour), but are also of some importance in Northern
India. They have been introduced to Malaysia by the many South Indian
(mostly Tamil) immigrants during the British colonial era. Outside
the Indian sphere of influence, they are rarely found. In Sri Lanka,
the delicious chicken and beef curries are flavoured with curry
leaves; the leaves are furthermore used for kottu roti, vegetables
and sliced bread which are quickly fried together.