Karuveppilai Thokku(Curry leaf Preserve)


Karuvepillai or Curry leaves is the most important ingredient/herb used in South Indian cooking .I just can’t imagine any South Indian dish be it non -vegetarian or vegetarian without curry leaves . It is also considered medicinal with umpteen health benefits . It is also a plant that grows easily in your kitchen garden . Just a few leaves can elevate a very simple dish and make it excellent.

Karuvepillai can be used in chutneys with coconut or in thokku. This thokku can be stored in the fridge for couple of months . It makes a yummy side to almost all South Indian breakfast dishes , as well as for rice . You can mix it in rice to make karuvepillai saadham /Curry leaf rice . I even use it as a spread on my bread or in my salads added to the dressing .


Curry leaf -2cups washed

Dry red chillies -10-15(or as desired)



Garlic -2-3 pods with skin

Ginger -a few pcs

Tamarind – a gooseberry sized ball

Gingely Oil -2tsp

To Garnish

Gingely oil -2-3tbsp

Mustard -1tsp

Channa dhal , Peanuts (optional)


Add oil in the pan , add in the jeera , red chillies and asafoetida. Then add the ginger and garlic and sauté . Add in the tamarind sauté until the red chillies are fried . Add in the washed curry leaves and mix well until it’s well coated. Cool it and then grind to a smooth paste .

Add oil in pan , once it heats up , add in the mustard and let it splutter , add in channa dhal and peanuts once they turn a golden brown, add in the karuvepillai paste and sauté for a while until oil comes up . Cool it and store in airtight glass containers and store in fridge.

Conversely you can grind the raw Karuvepillai, red chillies , ginger , garlic and tamarind to a smooth paste .Add gingely oil to pan season with mustard , jeera , asafoetida ,channa dhal and peanuts sauté well and add the the ground paste and mix well until the oil comes up .

Both methods work really well .

Use a dry spoon to scoop out the Karuvepillai thokku .


*you can add in the fried channa dhal and Peanuts later as well if you want to mix it in rice .

*using fresh tender curry leaves gives the best flavour and aroma


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Nandini says:

    Sangi – first of , congratulations! I am glad that all your delicious recipes will be archived here for posterity . I wanted to try atleast one recipe before I wrote here. The kariveppalai thokku was absolutely delicious . Super tasty and nutritious too . Will look through all the recipes and try one by one . Thanks so much.


    1. sangipra says:

      Wow ! Thank you soo much ! Am glad you liked the thokku Nandini . You are motivating me to post more 🙏🏼


  2. This recipe tastes delicious and it is also nutritious: it is cost effective too, so we will prepare more quantity of it and store it in the fridge so that we can use it whenever needed – either as a side dish for breakfast or add it with rice, because it has a pleasing taste


    1. sangipra says:

      Thank you , yes it can be stored in the fridge and can be used for upto a month .


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