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Curry Leaves Tamarind Rice in Banana Leaves | The Health Pantry

recipe for curry leaves and tamarind rice grilled in banana leaves by khushboo jain tibrewala

A true representation of India and all the flavours our culinary heritage boasts of so proudly!

Each ingredient in this recipe plays a unique role in adding taste and nutrition. The unique blend of spices and flavours makes this dish an excellent choice for a good, hearty meal. If you have found this recipe, it’s safe to assume that you are a fellow health enthusiast like me. And while most healthy recipes seem like a bit of a compromise, this one is the perfect combination of health, taste and novelty.


This recipe is a mix-and-match of 2-3 different dishes I ate when I was travelling in Kerala, India. Each element is unique and comes with an explosion of flavour and is power-packed with nutrients.

  1. Coconut Rice: 
    Coconut, apart from adding the sweet, subtle aroma and softness in texture, is good for health. Coconut has a unique fat profile. It is known to boost the production of immune cells and is antiviral and antimicrobial. Coconut also reduces the overall glycemic load. This means your blood sugar levels will not spike too quickly after eating this meal.
  2. Curry Leaves & Tamarind Curry:
    If you have ever faced hair fall, you probably know how powerful curry leaves can be. Curry leaves are rich in iron, fibre, B vitamins and various antioxidants. What makes them brilliant in this case, though, is their benefit to anyone with Diabetes, PCOS, High Cholesterol or Fatty Liver. (1) 
    Tamarind is another superfood we commonly use in Indian cooking without giving it too much thought. It has been shown to reduce cholesterol, protect liver health, slow down plaque formation in arteries and reduce HbA1c levels. Finally, the addition of fenugreek seeds or methi dana. Methi dana is hypoglycemic (i.e. reduces blood glucose levels) and it also helps in the prevention of type 2 diabetes (2).
  3. Banana Leaves:
    Banana leaves when used to cook release flavonoids like the epigallocatechin (EPGC). This one is very good for immune health and increases metabolism.

As you can see, each of these ingredients plays a role in both the taste and health benefits this dish provides. Also, the small parcels when served alook absolutely adorable making it a great dish to serve at a party too.

I hope you like it just as much as I do 🙂



recipe for curry leaves and tamarind rice grilled in banana leaves by khushboo jain tibrewala

Curry Leaves & Tamarind Rice in Banana Leaves - Gut-Friendly

Khushboo Jain Tibrewala
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Baking 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Servings 4 servings


Coconut Rice

  • 3 cup Boiled White Rice soak for 30 minutes before boiling
  • 1 cup Coconut grated
  • 1 cup Coriander leaves chopped
  • Salt

Curry leaves and Tamarind Curry

  • 2 inch Coconut
  • 1 cup Tamarind Juice
  • 1 tbsp Jaggery
  • 1 big Onion chopped into 1 cm cubes
  • 2 cups Curry Leaves
  • 1 tsp Methi dana or Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Coriader seeds
  • 3-4 Dried Red Chillies
  • 1 tbsp Urad Dal
  • 3 cups Mixed Vegetables (Carrots, bottle gourd, french beans)
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Oil filtered or cold-pressed
  • Salt


  • 2 tsp Sesame Oil filtered or cold-pressed
  • 1 sprig Curry Leaves
  • 1 tbsp Urad Dal
  • 1 tbsp Mustard Seeds

Wrapping the Rice

  • 2 whole Banana Leaves torn into big squares
  • raw thread or toothpicks


Coconut Rice

  • Mix the rice with salt, coriander and coconut with light hands and keep aside.


  • Chop the vegetables, rub some oil on them and bake them at 200 degress for 20 minutes, till the edges turn golden brown
  • Dry roast red chilli, methi seed, urad dal and coriander seeds. Cool and grind along with coconut and curry leaves into a smooth paste.
  • In a kadhai, heat oil. Add chopped onion and cook on high flame till they turn slightly brown. Now add tamarind juice, salt and turmeric. Let this boil for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the spice mixture and jaggery. This needs to now boil for a good 6-8 minutes.
  • Now add the oven-roasted vegetables. Taste and adjust for salt.
  • Adjust gravy consistency with water. It needs to be slightly thinner than cake batter. Boil the curry till the aromas are all released and are strong!


  • Heat oil, add all the ingredients and let them cook.


  • Wash and tear the banana leaves into squares
  • Place some rice and then a layer of the curry and then some more rice. Now put a spoonful of the tempering.
  • Fold in the leaf from all four sides like a gift box and tie thread around to hold the leaves in place. You can use toothpick for this as well.
  • Bake in the oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes
  • Serve hot with some curd and maybe even pappadums.
Keyword anti-inflammatory, antioxidant rich, banana leaves, gut friendly, local foods, rice, tamarind

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