Curry Leaf Trees in Winter

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I had friends over for dinner last night.  It was a last minute thing so fortunately they weren’t expecting much.  I burnt the beans and cauliflower, only just cooked the chicken and the sauce for the fish tasted bitter.  Not exactly ideal……

The first things were carelessness but I’m wondering if the last was the curry leaves in the curry sauce I made for the fish.

In Melbourne curry leaf trees look particularly sad at this time of year.  Being a tropical climate plant they simply don’t like Melbourne’s colder months and do everything they can to remind people of that.  Their leaves turn yellow and in the coldest climates fall off.

I’m wondering if they also turn bitter.

Of course the bitterness may have just as easily been the old (and starting to sprout) garlic or over cooked black mustard seeds so I probably shouldn’t really blame my poor sad curry tree.  Instead I should be doing my best to protect in and nurture it through to Spring when those beautifully fragrant leaves that should reappear sometime between September and November.

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6 Responses to Curry Leaf Trees in Winter

  1. Jodie says:

    Sorry Liz,
    I don’t think it was the curry leaves. I made a lovely curry last week (using paste from a jar) and the added fresh curry leaves and corriander root helped add flavour. I am curious to know how to germinate new plants from the fruit. An ex- colleague at work grew my plant from seed (she’s an amazing green thumb). I am keen to grow another tree for the community garden so how to ‘germinate curry seeds’ is on my research list for the weekend.

    • Liz says:

      You are probably right about the bitterness. As for the seeds they take a while to germinate but aside from needing to be sown fresh they are relatively straight forward to grow. I just plant one per herb pot and they tend to germinate eventually (even outside in Melbourne’s winter). One thing though the snails love them so a bit of protection is probably wise.

  2. Maree says:

    Hi Liz, Hope you had a refreshment as a panacea! I find the smell of curry leaves reminds me of brake fluid, quite heavy, pungent and invasive. I hate smelling it but find the taste once in the dish ok, a bit like how fish sauce stinks buts adds great structure. Never noticed a bitterness from it though. I’m led to believe the sprouted part of garlic does add bitterness. I’ve not put it to the test but found this Interesting read. Cheers, Maree.

  3. Chelsea says:

    Just jealous that you can grow curry leaves. Thats blown my poor bay clean out of the water. ;p

  4. SK says:

    Was wondering if anyone can help me. 2 curry leaf plants went in to hibernation end of January. Still no signs of new shoot on one. The other one threw out a sorry looking branch which dried, it keeps putting out the tiniest of shoot which dry out after a week. the top of the stem looks dry in both as well but the lower end is green. Live in Glasgow. The temp is around 6 to 10 C. I do move them within my flat to ensure sunlight. Regularly (3 weeks or so) watered and fed. I don’t know what’s happening. Have I lost them?

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