|Bengali Name :||Nimbhut (নিমভুত), Barsunga (বারসুঙ্গা), Kari pata (কারি পাতা).|
|Common Name :||Curry leaf plant.|
|Botanical Name :||Murraya koenigii|
|Synonym :||Bergera koenigii|
|Family :||Rutaceae (citrus family)|
Curry leaf plant is often seen in our country Bangladesh. In fact in our Dhaka I have seen this plant a lot. This is native to South India and Srilanka. People from that area use this in different curries that's why it is as named 'Curry leaf'. In Bengali we have several names for it such as Barsunga (বারসুঙ্গা), Nimbhut (নিমভুত), Kari pata (কারি পাতা), etc.
Botanical name of this plant is Murraya koenigii with several synonyms such as Bergera koenigii, Chalcas koenigii, etc. The botanical name refers to two 18th century botanists Johann Andreas Murray and Johann Gerhard König. It belongs to the plant family Rutaceae, the citrus family. The plant is having similarity with the Neem (নিম) plant but the flowers are similar like the citrus flower. Probably that's why it belongs to the citrus family? But for having the similarity with the Neem (নিম) it is known as Nimbhut (নিমভুত) in Bengali.
Wherever I have seen this plant those were small growing, but the height of is plant can be 4-6 meter (and some experts have defined this as a spreading shrub). The Curry leaf's leafs are oddly pinnate and having around 9-21 leaflets. Each of the leaflet is having a size between 2-4 cm, slightly toothed at the margin, and of course highly aromatic. The plant resembles the Neem tree.
At first I was dodged by the plant and considered it as a bitter plant like the Neem (নিম). But later I came to know this plant as highly aromatic. So during my next visit i have tasted the smell of the leafs and chewed too. At South India and Sri Lanka the leafs are being used as a curry spice since the ancient time. I have never found such uses in our country Bangladesh yet, may be I can try this on my cooking!
The flowers are small and bloom as a cluster. Small flowers are white in color and having the exact similarity of the citrus flowers. It has six petals with a centered style that is having a roundish greenish stigma atop. The style is surrounded by 8-12 stamens which are having creamy colored filament atop. Flowers are fragrant similar to the leafs.
Fruits are small, shiny, and berry likes. They are light green, light pinkish when immature. But turns into black when ripen or mature. Though the fruits look juicy, but the seeds are poisonous when ingested.
Initially the culinary practice of this leaf was limited to the South India and Sri Lanka. But later this is spread into the other parts of the world specially with the migrants from that region. Apart from the culinary uses, the leafs of this plant are having few medicinal uses. They are rich with vitamin A and Calcium.
As per my observation, I have seen the flowers were blooming during March and the fruits on the tree during June. I have seen this plant at several places in Bangladesh. But I know the GPS coordinate of the two plants from the Ramna park (রমনা পার্ক). If anyone is interested can go there with the following GPS coordinates (23°44'12.75"N, 90°24'3.65"E) and (23°44'17.24"N, 90°24'5.74"E).
Photos of this article were taken from Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ) as mentioned below:
1) 26 March 2015: Ramna park, Dhaka (রমনা পার্ক, ঢাকা) : flowers.
2) 06 June 2015: Ramna park, Dhaka (রমনা পার্ক, ঢাকা) : fruits.
This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog http://icwow.blogspot.com/