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In India curry leaves are added almost all curries.

I personally hate them. You don't eat them, but just keep them on the side of the plate and throw them away.

1) What is the purpose of adding curry leaves?

2) Does the taste of the curry change when you add curry leaves? Does it make it worse or make it better?

3) Do any other country's recipes use curry leaves? If yes, which ones?

4) Are there any health benefits of adding curry leaves?

5) Is it better not to add curry leaves?

6) Are curry leaves added to any other non-curry recipes?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Megha, GdD, rumtscho Dec 5 '16 at 12:09

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • "Almost all curries"? My recipe collection begs to differ. (And I eat them, btw) – Willem van Rumpt Dec 5 '16 at 8:52
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    Hi. This is really broad, one question per question is usually the limit. And some of your questions are off topic, and others are really opinion based. I think the question needs a lot of editing before it's a good fit for this site. You would probably find it helpful to check out the tour and the help center – Megha Dec 5 '16 at 9:05
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    We would ask you to adhere to the policy of one question per post. I know it is convenient to ask all your related question in one post but it makes it really hard to give good answers as is. – Neil Meyer Dec 5 '16 at 9:07
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    Indeed, see the help center: rants masked as questions are off topic. cooking.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask. Just because you hate curry leaves, it does not mean that there has to be a strict rule saying that it is good or bad to add them to food. – rumtscho Dec 5 '16 at 12:17
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    Bay leaves (for example) are used in a similar way and are also removed when used whole. They give some flavour. Or consider whole cardamom pods. The flavour they give is undeniable but few people eat them. – Chris H Dec 5 '16 at 12:37
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Most of your questions are a matter of personal taste!

1) What is the purpose of adding curry leaves?

I'd say adding a nice taste to the meal (as long as you like it)

2) Does the taste of the curry change when you add curry leaves? Does it make it worse or make it better?

yes it does. It will make your curry better... as long as you like the taste of it

3) Do any other country's recipes use curry leaves? If yes, which ones?

I have seen curry leaves in many SE countries and cuisines.

4) Are there any health benefits of adding curry leaves?

They are believed to have multiple benefits 1, 2, etc.

5) Is it better not to add curry leaves?

Well, again, as long as you like it

6) Are curry leaves added to any other non-curry recipes?)

I have seen them in many other meals than curry both in India and in SE Asia. Here is a primer for some recipes using them.

  • I would like to add to the point number 6) Curry leaves are used in Lemon rice and other rice based dishes. In fact in southern India chutney powder is made out of curry leaves which is very aromatic and healthy too – skay Dec 6 '16 at 11:22
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First of all, we need to distinguish between fresh and dried curry leaves. Dried curry leaves add a fairly strong and bitter, wooden and earthy flavor to the dish. Fresh curry leaves add a flowery, citrous and piny flavor. The flavors of curry leaves are very volatile, so they are rarely found in pre-made spice blends (except Madras-Curry) and the proper use is to add fresh curry leaves only a few minutes before the cooking is done.

Another use is to fry fresh leaves for a short moment in oil, to extract the volatile flavors and then remove the leaves and continue the cooking just with the oil.

Besides Indian curry dishes, curry leaves are also used traditionally for Samosa and Dal dishes.

  • "tea-ish" would also be fit to describe part of the fresh flavor :) – rackandboneman Dec 6 '16 at 12:37
  • ...though I think the bitter wooden and earthy flavor could be better achieved by adding actual wood and earth - never found any sense in the dried variety, except for grinding in as part of spice mixes just for sake of following the recipe ;) – rackandboneman Dec 6 '16 at 12:39

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