Re: [gardeners] gardeners Digest V1 #390

margaret lauterbach (
Tue, 15 Dec 1998 14:25:26 -0700

At 12:45 PM 12/15/98 EST, you wrote:
>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
>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,
>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
>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)
>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.
Evergreen Y.H. Enterprises, P.O. Box 17538, Anaheim, CA 92817 carries
"winged bean."  I don't know what part of California you live in, but it
might be worth a trip to Anaheim.  A friend tells me there are two or three
(at least) nurseries in that vicinity that carry Asian shrubs, etc.  She
said they're listed in the telephone book yellow pages, too.  She got a
Kaffir lime tree from one, a lot cheaper than I got mine by mail order.
Margaret L