Curry Leaves Powder also known as Karivepaku Podi is a traditional condiment from Andhra Cuisine. Made with fresh curry leaves, lentils and spices, this dry chutney powder is simply delicious and can spice up your meal anytime. Curry Leaves Powder is eaten mixed together with hot steamed rice and ghee or served on the side with Curd rice, Idli, dosa, upma and Pongal.
About Curry Leaves Powder
Curry Leaves Powder also known as Karivepaku Podi in Telugu and Karuveppilai Podi in Tamil, is a lesser known spiced dry chutney powder made with fresh curry leaves, lentils & spices. Most South Indian households stock a variety of spiced powders known as podi or pudi to add zing to their meals.
Traditionally curry leaves have been used in South Indian Cuisine to treat various ailments. These leaves are believed to provide numerous health benefits
like boosting iron levels, controls blood sugar levels, aids digestion and flushes toxins away from stomach.
Folks with low iron levels may benefit from the regular use of curry leaves powder. A tsp of this powder eaten with rice in the beginning of a meal is said to increase the appetite, digestion and absorption of nutrients in the food.
There may be different ways of making spiced curry leaves powder. I’m sharing my way of making it. This recipe is adapted from the vepudu karam recipe on the blog.
Next time you have surplus curry leaves and don’t know what to do just try this podi or this Curry leaves chutney. I’m sure you will fall in love with these leaves, so flavorful and delicious with tons of health benefits.
I usually make this spicy curry leaves podi and stock up in a glass bottle. Use it whenever needed to make the karivepaku rice (curry leaves rice). Sometimes I also drizzle it over hot Idli and Uttapam or even sprinkle on stir fry dishes.
This karivepaku podi is healthy, delicious and quick to make. It can be a quick fix to dinner as well when you do not have time to make an elaborate meal. Just mix it with cooked rice along with oil and roasted peanuts or any other nuts.
Update: I have been dehydrating the curry leaves for this podi in the oven. It is so much easier when you make a large batch and does not need oil too. Also you can store these dehydrated curry leaves for up to a month in a glass jar.
You can also powder the curry leaves alone without spices and sprinkle on your veggie stir fry dishes.
How to Make Curry Leaves Powder (Stepwise Photos)
1. Always use mature fresh curry leaves that do not have infestations. Remove and discard any leaves that don’t look good. Add a handful of rock salt to a large pot filled with water. Pour little vinegar and mix well to dissolve the salt. Add the curry leaf sprigs. Leave them to rest for 10 minutes. Later remove them and discard the water. This way rinse them a few times until the water runs clear.
2. Shake the sprigs well to remove excess water. Leave them in a colander. When the water drains off completely. Separate the leaves from the sprigs and spread them on a thick cotton cloth until the moisture dries up completely. I usually dry these leaves in the morning around 10 am and leave it on the dinning table until evening 4. You can also leave them overnight. Measure 1 cup leaves (tightly packed) to use in this recipe.
3. On a low to medium flame dry roast 1 tablespoon urad dal and 1 tablespoon chana dal until light golden, then add 3 to 4 dried red chilies. Adjust the amount of red chilies to suit your taste. I used Kashmiri or byadgi red chilies. Roast until the dal turns golden and chilies turn crisp. Keep tossing in between to prevent burning.
4. When the dal is golden, reduce the heat to low. Add ¾ to 1 teaspoon cumin/ jeera seeds, and the optional ingredients – 1 tablespoon sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut. If you have dried coconut (copra) use that since it is higher in nutrition than desiccated coconut. Dry roast until the seeds begin to sizzle. Turn off and set these aside to cool.
5. To the same pan, add 1 tablespoon oil and heat it a bit. If you want you can also dehydrate the curry leaves in the oven. Check the recipe card below to get the instructions.
6. Add the curry leaves and begin to fry. Make sure the leaves are completely moisture-free else they won’t fry well.
7. On a low to medium flame, fry them until the leaves turn crisp. This takes sometime so be patient. Add 1 to 3 garlic pods to this and fry for a minute. Switch off the stove.
8. Cool all the ingredients completely. If you like to add tamarind, you can add a bit of it. I prefer fresh lemon juice for the rice while serving rather than tamarind. Powder them all in a blender jar along with salt.
Store curry leaves powder in a air tight glass jar.
How to make Curry Leaves Rice
1. Heat oil in a pan, add a pinch of mustard & let them crackle. Add urad dal and peanuts, fry until the peanuts turn golden. Then add 1 sprig curry leaves, red chili and hing. Saute all. Off the stove. Stir in the curry leaves powder as needed. Pour this to the cooled cooked rice. Sprinkle salt. You can also sprinkle some fresh lemon juice if you have not used tamarind. Mix well.
1. Cook the rice and cool it completely. Dry roast peanuts until they are toasted well. Remove off the skin and coarsely crush or pulse them in a blender jar.
2. Add curry leaves powder, salt, peanuts and cold pressed oil of choice.
3. Mix them all together. I prefer to use extra virgin olive oil and little fresh lemon juice. Since the oil is not heated in this method, all the nutritional and health qualities of extra virgin olive oil are retained. Add more or less podi to suit your taste. Serve karivepaku podi rice with salad, kachumber, kosambari or plain yogurt.
You can also check this collection of over 70 rice recipes suitable for quick dinner or lunch box.
Rinsing and cleaning Curry Leaves: I feel rinsing the whole sprigs with the leaves on is easier than cleaning the loose leaves. If you are not using home-grown or organic curry leaves, make sure you rinse them well with baking soda or rock salt and vinegar to get rid of the pesticides or preservatives.
Dry the leaves: Do not attempt to roast or fry the wet leaves. They take forever to fry well and turn crisp. I felt the oven method is easier when you make a large batch of curry leaves podi.
Heat and spice levels: This is a kids’ friendly recipe. So it is low on heat, use as many dried chilies as you want for more spicy powder. For toddlers you may leave out the chilies and add a few pepper corn for mild heat.
Curry Leaves Powder (Karivepaku Podi)
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1 tablespoon chana dal (Bengal gram, split skinned chickpeas)
- 1 tablespoon urad dal (skinned black gram – whole or split)
- 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds (leave out if you don't have)
- 1 tablespoon dry coconut or desiccated coconut (not fresh)
- 3 to 4 dried red chilies or as needed
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon cumin seeds / jeera
- 1 to 3 garlic cloves
- 1 cup curry leaves tightly packed
- 1 tablespoon Oil as needed to fry the curry leaves
- salt as needed
To make curry leaves rice
- 1½ cups rice
- 2 to 2½ tablespoon curry leaves podi
- salt as needed
- ¼ cup peanuts or cashews as needed
- 2 tablespoons oil or as needed
- 1 tablespoons lemon juice or as needed (optional)
How to make Curry Leaves Powder
- Clean and wash curry leaves in lot of water few times and dry them on a clean cotton cloth. You can even leave it for few hours to overnight, until they are moisture-free. (I have shared an alternate method to clean the leaves in the stepwise instructions in the post)
- Dry roast chana dal and urad dal until golden. When they are half roasted, add red chilies and fry until golden.
- Reduce the heat to low and add cumin, coconut and sesame seeds. Fry them until the seeds begin to sizzle. Remove and cool completely.
- On Stovetop: To the same pan, add oil and heat. Fry curry leaves until they turn crisp. Add the garlic to the hot pan and stir for a minute. Turn off and cool them.
- In Oven: Spread the curry leaves on 2 trays and place them in the oven in the middle and lower levels of your oven. Turn on the oven at 60 C (140 F) for 10 to 12 mins. The leaves turn crisp. This method doesn't need oil. Adjust the time as needed and remove them in time as they burn faster. The lower tray takes a little longer. So move it to the middle rack after 10 mins. You can add the garlic during the last 1 to 2 minutes to remove any moisture on the surface.
- Powder them together along with salt in a grinder/blender. Store curry leaves powder in an air tight glass jar and use as needed for idli, dosa, upma, oats or rice.
- To make curry leaves rice, cook 1 ½ cups rice and cool it completely. Add some roasted crushed peanuts, 2 to 2.5 tbsp curry leaves powder, little more salt and extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil or hot ghee.
- Mix the rice. Adjust the quantity of podi and oil as needed.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me
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