Curry Fruits

Sherrin from Melbourne writes:

“I’ve had a beautiful curry plant for a couple of years, and now it is producing amazing burgundy/purple fruit. Can this fruit be used, and if so, how?”

I reply:

curry tree in flower:

To my knowledge the fruits are inedible. They have peculiar, sweet but resinous flavour-notes. They actually contain the seeds of future curry plants, so if you allow them to naturally ripen, dry up and then fall, unaided, you may get some baby plants growing up around the main one.

Some say you should wait until the fruits turn purple/black, and then plant the fruits immediately, not letting them dry out. I have no direct experience of this, however.

curry tree fruits:

I never allow them to grow. Rather, I pinch off the first tiny flowers buds, what to speak of the fruits, which of course come after the flowers mature then fall off.

By doing this pinching/pruning the tree will grow many many more leaves. By allowing the flowers then the fruit pods to grow, the leaf growth is stunted, since all the energy goes to growing the fruits. This pruning is standard garden practice for encouraging leaf growth in most if not all culinary herb plants.

The choice is yours: a beautiful and fragrant canopy of flowers and some fruits, or prolific leaves. If the tree is mature, of course, you can enjoy both. Best wishes, Kurma.
Posted by Kurma on 13/4/07; 6:48:43 AM

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