Thursday, April 2, 2009

Curry leaf-tree

Curry Tree is native to india which produces 'Curry leaves' or 'Sweet Neem leaves'. Curry trees are cultivated mainly for its leaves. The leaves are exstipulate, bipinnately compound, with 11-21 leaflets, each leaflet 2-4 cm long and 1-2 cm wide. The leaves are highly aromatic. The flowers are small, white colored, and fragrant. The flower produces small round, colored black, shiny berries and are edible. From the seeds, a medicinal oil called zimbolee oil is extracted.


The leaves are used as a spice in different curries and impart a very good flavour to the preparations. In their fresh form, they have a short shelf life though they may be stored in a freezer for quite some time. The leaves of the curry leaf-tree are stated to be eaten raw for curing dysentery, and the infusion of the washed leaves stops vomiting.


The fruits are shape round to oblong, 1.4 to 1.6 cm long, 1 to 1.2 cm in diameter; weight 880 mg, green colored, and the color changes from green, red to black with a very shining surface when mature.

The fruits are very sweet and can be eaten fresh. The fruits have also many medicinal properties. The pulp of the fruit contains 64.9% moisture. The content of total soluble solids of the fruit juice is about 16.8%. The pulp contains 9.76% total sugars, 9.58% reducing sugars, 0.17% non-reducing sugars and almost a negligible amount of tannins and acidity. The fruit also has 13.35 mg vitamin C content per 100 g of the pulp.

The mineral content of the edible portion of the fruit, as represented by its ash, is 2.162%. A 100 g of the edible portion of the fruit contains, protein - 1.97 g, phosphorus - 0.082 g, potassium - 0.811 g, calcium - 0.166 g, magnesium - 0.216 g, and iron - 0.007 g.