Re: [gardeners] gardeners Digest V1 #390 (
Tue, 15 Dec 1998 12:45:15 EST

In a message dated 12/15/98 5:05:06 AM, owner-gardeners- writes:

<<Margaret lauterbach <>>>

Dear Margaret:

Curry Leaf (Murraya Koenigii)  Karapincha/Kariyappila or Curry Veppila in
Malayalam the language of Kerela, India where it grows in profusion.

The leaf is used in Keralite food as a flavoring like we use Bay Leaf, but the
flavor is totally different and they are tender and quite tasty to eat.  

I found that Bhatia Nurseries in NY and Logee's Greenhouses in CT. both have
the plant available.  The problem I have is that they don't have the proper
documents to ship to CA. and I must pay $25 to $50 EXTRA per plant for
certification.  OUCH!

The Curry Tree grows to a height of 20' to 25'.  It is a lacy and pretty tree
with flowers that are similar to Moroccan Jasmine in fragrance and look.  The
leaf pattern is by pairs up to 20 or more on a stem w/ a single larger one at
the tip.  The leaves are plucked off and popped into curries and sambars.
Sambars are often eaten with Idli or Appams (a Keralite "pancake" unlike
anything else YUM).  The bark is kind of a copper color.  The leaves totally
loose their flavor and fragrance when dried.  I do bring them home dried but I
really have to think about it to taste the flavor.

The Curry leaf is used in Southeast Asian Cuisines as well.  Kerela is a very
tropical climate.  It is quite humid, an under statement to say the least, and
always in the high 80's,s to mid 90's.

I want to grow one in a large pot (24") in my Greenhouse.  I am also looking
for Shaploo (native to Thailand) with NO luck at all. It could be related to
Piper Betle as the leaf looks similar.  Shaploo leaf is used for wrapping the
wonderful ingredients of Miang Kam (wonderful combination of dried toasted
coconut, lime, Thai bird chiles, dried shrimp, pickled garlic, etc.).  I am
also looking for Piper Nigrum.  The flavor in cooking w/fresh green pepper
corn is incredible.  I may also search out Screwpine (Pandanus Odoratissimus).
Pandamun leaves wrapped around spiced boneless chicken is a delightful Thai
dish.  The leaf is also used as a flavoring in coconut milk custard steamed in
a Kapocha Pumpkin.  This is also a wonderful addition to Indian cooking.  In
India they offer the fragrant flowers to Shiva.

I am successful with Keffir Limes - have 6 very happy trees (from Four Winds)
in containers outside, lemon grass, Bao Krapoa, and numerous chiles.

Does anyone know a source for Winged Bean(Psophocarpus Tetragonolobus) seeds? 
This is such a wonderful bean very high in protein, 15-30cm long and very
prolific and fringy and pretty.  You can eat the leaves, flowers, ripe seeds
and even the tuberous roots. 

I hope this sheds a little light on the Curry Tree and perhaps opens a
dialogue on my quest for the unusual.