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For the "Curry Plant", see Helichrysum italicum or Sweet Neem leaf
For the dish or sauce, see Curry.
Curry Tree
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Murraya
Species: M. koenigii
Binomial name
Murraya koenigii
(L.) Sprengel[1]
The small flowers are white and fragrant.
Ripe & Unripe fruits.

The Curry Tree (Murraya koenigii; syn. Bergera koenigii, Chalcas koenigii) (Malayalam: കറിവേപ്പില kariveppila, Kannada: ಕರಿಬೇವಿನ ಸೊಪ್ಪು karibevina soppu, Telugu: కరివేపాకు karivepaku, Tamil: கறிவேப்பிலை karivepallai/kadipatta, Bengali: কারিগাছ Kari Gaas) is a tropical to sub-tropical tree in the family Rutaceae, which is native to India. It produces the leaves known as Curry leaves or Sweet Neem leaves.

Contents

Description

It is a small tree, growing 4-6 m tall, with a trunk up to 40 cm diameter. The leaves are pinnate, with 11-21 leaflets, each leaflet 2-4 cm long and 1-2 cm broad. They are highly aromatic. The flowers are small white, and fragrant. The small black, shiny berries are edible, but their seeds are poisonous.

The species name commemorates the botanist Johann König.

Names

The small and narrow leaves somewhat resemble the leaves of the Neem tree; therefore they are also referred to as Kadhi Patta (Hindi), Mithho Limdo (Gujarati) Kadhielimba (Marathi), (Patta meaning leaf and Kadhi being a popular dish that consists of a thin soup or stew made from yogurt, which amongst other dishes this leaf is used to spice) Karivepaku in Telugu (aaku means leaf), Karuveppilai (translated to Black Neem leaf) in Tamil and Malayalam, Karu/Kari meaning black, ilai meaning leaves and veppilai meaning Neem leaf. In the Kannada language it is known as Kari BEvu and Karivepaku in Telugu, again translating to the same meaning Black Neem leaf. But the most plausible reason why it is called Kariveppilla in Malayalam is that it used in curry, which in Malayalam is more correctly pronounced as Kari.

Other names include Karivepaku Karuveppilai, noroxingha (Assamese), Bhursunga Patra (Oriya), and Karapincha (Sinhalese).

Uses

The leaves are highly valued as seasoning in South Indian and Sri Lankan cooking, much like bay leaves and especially in curries with fish or coconut milk. They are also used as an ingredient in the popular Pakistani dish karhi. In their fresh form, they have a short shelf life though they may be stored in a freezer for quite some time; however, this can result in a loss of their flavour. They are also available dried, though the aroma is much inferior.

The leaves of Murraya koenigii are also used as a herb in Ayurvedic medicine. Their properties include much value as an antidiabetic,[2] antioxidant,[3] antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, anti-hypercholesterolemic etc. Curry leaves are also known to be good for hair, for keeping them healthy and long.

Propagation

Seeds must be planted fresh; dried or shriveled fruits are not viable. Plant either the whole fruit (or remove the pulp) in potting mix and keep moist but not wet.

References

  1. ^ "Murraya koenigii information from NPGS/GRIN". www.ars-grin.gov. http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?24703. Retrieved 2008-03-11.  
  2. ^ Arulselvan P, Senthilkumar GP, Sathish Kumar D, Subramanian S (Oct 2006). "Anti-diabetic effect of Murraya koenigii leaves on streptozotocin induced diabetic rats". Pharmazie 61 (10): 874–7. PMID 17069429.  
  3. ^ Arulselvan P, Subramanian SP (Jan 2007). "Beneficial effects of Murraya koenigii leaves on antioxidant defense system and ultra structural changes of pancreatic beta-cells in experimental diabetes in rats". Chem Biol Interact. 165 (2): 155–64. doi:10.1016/j.cbi.2006.10.014. PMID 17188670. http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0009-2797(06)00342-5.  

External links

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Simple English

Curry Tree
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked) Eudicots
(unranked) Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Murraya
Species: M. koenigii
Binomial name
Murraya koenigii
(L.) Sprengel[1]

The Curry Tree (also called Karivepallai or Kadipatta) is a kind of tree. It is found mostly in hot climates, and is a native plant of India. The leaves of the curry tree are called curry leaves or Sweet Neem leaves.

Usually, curry trees grow to 4-6 metres tall, and their trunk grows to 40 centimetres in diameter. Small black, shiny berries that grow on the tree can be eaten, but their seeds are poisonous.

The scientific name of the curry tree, Murraya koenegii, was chosen to celebrate the botanist Johann Koenig.

References


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