With their citrusy aromatic notes, fresh curry leaves are a common in Indian cooking. Add them whole in tadka or coarsely chop so they release more intense flavors and aroma. Often paired with mustard seeds, asafoetida, and/or chilies they are vital, especially in South Indian cooking.
Remove the leaves from the stems by gently pulling the leaves away from the stem. Rinse the leaves and dry them well with paper towels or allow them to air dry for a few hours.
3 ways to store curry leaves
Refrigerate - Loosely wrap the curry leaves in paper towels and place in an air tight container. The paper towel will help absorb any excess moisture and teh curry leaves will stay good for 2 weeks
Air dry – place the curry leaves in a large tray lined with paper towels and let them sit at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. Then store them in a glass jar in your pantry. When you are ready to use, simply crumble them with hand and the curry leaves will release wonderful aromas.
Freeze – Freeze the washed and dried curry leaves in a freezer zip lock bag. Frozen curry leaves will change the color to darker green, but the taste and benefits will remain the same.
I often buy 2 packs at a time and leave one pack unopened in the refrigerator door. They eventually will dry up and get crisp without going bad.