Recently, I’ve read a lot about fresh curry leaves in various recipes, and I’m thinking, how can that be? Curry, as a spice, is a total mixture of spices and can be mild, medium, or hot (Madras), depending on the combination. So how can there be fresh curry leaves?

Well there are, and you can eat the whole leaf! The curry leaf tree (Murraya koenigii) is a small bush or tree that only grows 13 to just under 20 feet in height. The plant is tropical to sub-tropical and native to India and Sri Lanka.

I think I might try to grow my own curry plant as I have fallen in love with these curry leaves. They are very fragrant and taste and smell like…curry!!  They add a delicious and different twist to any dish.



31/4 lb. whole chicken, washed, dried, extra fat & backbone removed
1 oz fresh curry leaves, washed and air-dried
1 Tbs. olive oil
Fine sea salt
Fresh ground pepper

Basting Sauce:
4 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 small onion minced
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
Juice of one lemon

Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the minced onions on low heat. Cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes, sweating and softening the onions. Then add the worcestershire sauce. Off heat, blend in the lemon juice and a little salt and pepper.

Raw chicken with fresh curry leaves on a paper towel.

Using poultry shears, cut along each side of the chicken backbone and remove it. Remove the wing tips. Freeze the backbone and wing tips for the next time you make stock. Turn the chicken breast side up and press on the breastbone to flatten the chicken. Using a small sharp knife, cut partway through both sides of the joint between the thighs and the drumsticks. Cut partway through the joint between the wings and the breast. This will make the white meat and dark meat cook more evenly and the whole chicken will cook faster.

For the curry leaves, use all but one stem. Save that for garnishing. Carefully lift up the skin on the breasts and thighs and spread the whole curry leaves around underneath the skin, evenly distributing them


Rub the chicken with a little olive oil. Salt and pepper both sides.Raw chicken with fresh curry leaves underneath the skin.

Oil a grill plate and heat up on the grill to 425 degrees. Place chicken on the grill plate, bone side down, cover and roast for 10 minutes. Baste with the lemon butter sauce. Turn the chicken over, baste on the bone side, cover and roast for 10 – 15 minutes, more until done. Remember, this chicken does not take long to cook because the slits were made in the thighs and wings.

Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting into pieces to serve. You can use any leftover basting sauce to put on the chicken because you never basted raw meat.

Chop the remaining curry leaves and garnish the chicken. Serve with LOVE and enjoy!! And visit my blog for more recipes like this!

Grilled chicken with fresh curry leaves - finished plate with chicken.

We started this meal with a Caesar Salad and I served this chicken with grilled small arepas – arepitas!

About The Author

My name is Mary Frances. I am a designer, creative director, painter, wife, mother and cook. I own an internationally recognized, award-winning brand development and marketing communications firm in New York City, and am a graduate of Parsons School of Design. I especially love to cook and serve great food to make people content and happy. Hearing mmmm’s makes my heart soar. I grew up in suburban St. Louis, in Webster Groves, the youngest of six and the only girl. (Yes, that’s FIVE older brothers!) My mom was a great home cook, and she made sure that I could make a mean pie from scratch. After Parsons, I married, had two boys and moved from NYC to the NJ suburbs where I threw myself into cooking and entertaining. Now it’s time for me to share the great recipes, tips, stories and LOVE with you. The inspiration for LOVE – the secret ingredient came from our youngest son when he wrote in a gift cookbook that the one ingredient that was ever-present in my meals was love. When you cook with LOVE, everything just tastes better.

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