Curry leaves are a type of herb that is used in South Indian and Sri Lankan cooking. Native to India, they have a distinctive, pungent aroma and a slightly bitter taste.
They are typically used to flavor dishes such as curries, rice, and lentils, and are often added to dishes as a garnish or used to make a spice paste.
The leaves are dark green and have a delicate, feathery texture. They are typically sold fresh, but can also be found dried or frozen in some areas.
Curry leaves have been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years to treat a variety of ailments.
5 Best Options For Curry Leaf Substitute?
1. Best Option: Lime Leaves
We highly recommend using Lime Leaves to substitute for Curry Leaf because it will add the same flavor to the dishes with a strong and unique aroma that gets complemented by the incredible citrus notes.
Moreover, you can use them the same amount as a curry leaf in every dish.
Also, it’s essential to remind yourself or the eaters that the lime leaves should not be eaten entirely. And here are some great options for using these leaves:
- Crush them with one mortar and pestle or a muller
- Slice them well with one knife or a pair of scissors
- Use them entirely and let the leaves simmer in the food for a while
Add Kaffir Lime Leaves to your soups, stir-fries or any sauce with the Asian flavor. Pretty much like the citrus fruit zest, these leaves are filled with the appealingly aromatic oils that can infuse your food with a strong floral citrus taste.
Curry Leaf is just thin, dark-green, and shiny as well as extremely aromatic when fresh. This impresses the eaters with the same aroma of a real tangerine and can be consumed without causing any harm to us.
And it’s also because of their unique taste, we all know that it’s hard to find something to replicate. However, there are still some herbs we can use in an emergency.
2. Bay Leaf
Known for being commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine, Bay Leaf is claimed to own a sweet undertone to the food, making it a perfect curry leaf substitute.
Obviously, they won’t give the meal the exact feeling to you when eating with Curry Leaves, but this herb can balance the rest of tastes and aromas in the dish.
They’re just optional, and by its nature, the Bay Leaves are said to increase other and make them more prominent.
If it’s a stew, this great curry leaf substitute can provide a layer of subtle melodies for the stars from your food to play over.
If the Curry Leaves taste sweeter with a mild touch of citrus and peppery notes, the Bay Leaves come with the gently bitter notes plus the slightly earthy.
Use it with all Asian herbs and spices if you like. For example, you can substitute the cinnamon flavor with some Indonesian Bay Leaves when you’re preparing soups or stews.
3. Lemon Balm
Another member of the mint family that can be a good Curry Leaf substitute you must know: Lemon Balm.
Its aroma is surprisingly similar to the curry leaf so that you can use it, but not the root of balm, only the leaves work well for your recipes.
So how many Curry Leaves would be replaced for Lemon Balm? Replace nine Curry Leaves with six Lemon Balm leaves.
Besides this, Lemon Balm is seen as a perennial herb that is commonly used alone or partially for any herb combination product.
Regarding any medical treatment, Lemon Balm is ideal for all digestive issues, from the upset tummy, bloating, vomiting to other mental disorders, such as hysteria.
Not only that, but people also trust that this herb owns some amazingly calming effects, which are perfect for anxiety or sleeping problems.
4. Lime Zest
The good news here is that you’re allowed to substitute eight Curry Leaves with Lime Zest. But only avail the same amount of Basil Leaves that your own recipe asks for Curry Leaves.
Note that only the uppermost layer of one lime rind since this contains a remarkably citrusy flavor.
This is absolutely the best bet you can’t miss, especially the oils in it are supposed to be quite pungent and strong.
It will offer an intense citrus flavor plus a delicate aroma that tastes similarly to those of Curry Leaves. And luckily, the flavor of lime zest works so well in every dish that stands for Curry Leaves.
Some people would love to try a combo of Basil Leaves and Lime Zest to make the exact copy of all citrus notes from Curry Leaves.
5. Other Options
Apart from replacing Curry Leaves with Lemon Balm, Bay Leaves, Lime Leaves, Lime Zest, some cooks even recommend us to use the basil leaves alone as a great curry leaf substitute.
Their amazing floral notes will complement well all of your Asian dishes that only require curry leaves.
Besides, since Curry Leaves can freeze or get dried quite well, so feel free to buy a batch of the fresh Curry Leaves and freeze some for the next time cooking.
However, getting them in this way could cause them to lose many flavors. In other words, you won’t have the similar taste as the fresh leaves at all.