Buy a curry leaf plant and throw out your jar of curry powder? No way. The leaf’s assertive, herbal flavor has nothing in common with the turmeric-tinted spice blend that most of us equate with curry. Indian cooks don’t use that stuff anyway. But if they’re from India’s south, they add curry leaves to almost every dish. Here, many south Indian cooks grow their own--at least they do if they can find a plant.
After a long search, we finally found two sources. At Sunshine Groceries, 7530 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park (818) 887-6917, we were advised to keep the young plant indoors until four feet tall. It’s a bit delicate for icy cold weather. Another source is Rasa, 18707 Pioneer Blvd., Artesia, (310) 402-9622. Call the stores first to make sure the plants are in stock.