Spicy Curry Leaves Rice or Karuveppilai Sadam

Spicy Curry Leaves Rice or Kariveppilai Sadam is a spicy and tangy rice preparation that uses fresh curry leaves made into a coarse paste sautéed along with onion, tomato and spices and mixed with cooked rice.

Spicy Curry Leaves Rice

I just love curry leaves so much for its smell and health benefits that I use it liberally in all of my preparations – be it rice varieties, rasam, sambar or poriyal. Curry leaves are rich source of iron and is said to increase hemoglobin in the blood. Also, regular intake of curry leaves helps prevent premature graying of hair. Knowing its health benefits, I ensure that curry leaves are not thrown away while eating and try to include them in our diet in various forms. One such way is the preparation of this Spicy Curry Leaves Rice. My family loves variety rice preparations. Normal preparation of curry leaves rice involves roasting dal and red chillies and powdering them along with curry leaves and then mixing with rice. Unlike that preparation, this recipe is made sans dals and uses garam masala like cloves and cinnamon. Any leftover masala can also be used as an accompaniment to idlis and dosas. Cooked masala tastes good with curd rice too.


Cooked rice – 1 ½ bowls or as needed
Onion – 1 medium sized
Tomato – 1 medium sized
Cashews – a handful (Optional)
To grind
Curry leaves – ¾ cup tightly packed (I used about ¾ th of a big bunch)
Red chillies – 5 or as per taste
Tamarind – 1” piece
Garlic – 7 cloves (roasted in oil)
Hing or asafoetida – ½ tsp

To temper
Oil – 1 ½ tbsps
Cloves – 4
Cinnamon – ½” piece
Garlic – 5-7 cloves

Salt to taste


Preparation time – 15 mins
Cooking time – 12 – 15 mins
Total time – 30 mins
Serves 3-4 people

  1. Wash and pat dry the curry leaves discarding the stems. Chop onion and tomato finely. Peel the garlic.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, fry garlic cloves and grind it to a coarse paste along with curry leaves, red chillies, tamarind, and asafoetida without adding water. Set aside the coarse paste.
  3. Add the cashews to the oil in the same pan and fry till crisp and golden brown. Set it aside for garnishing at the end.
  4. In the same pan, add cloves, cinnamon and garlic, sauté for a minute.
  5. Add the onions and sauté till they turn pink.
  6. Add the tomatoes and fry until mushy. Add the coarsely ground paste and salt. Cook well until the raw smell goes and the masala binds together.
  7. Add the cooked rice and toss well. Garnish with peanuts or cashewnuts.
  8. Serve this spicy and tangy masaledar curry leaves rice along with fried crispies like chips or appalam.

This spicy curry leaves rice is perfect to be packed for lunch box too. We enjoyed this spicy curry leaves rice with appalams for our lunch, just tasted yummy.

Spicy Curry Leaves Rice


  1. If cooked rice is not readily available, cook the rice using any method you would prefer. I normally pressure cook the rice along with water in the ratio 1:2 and spread it on a plate to cool and then use it. Do not cook the rice mushy, the grains should be cooked but not stick to each other. For the above preparation, I used about 150 gms of raw rice (Kolam variety).
  2. I feel for mixed rice varieties like lemon, coconut or tamarind rice preparation, daily use raw rice works best than basmati variety. You can use any rice variety as per your liking.
  3. This curry leaves rice will not be dry as we are making paste of curry leaves and using it for the preparation.
  4. As I ran out of cashews, I used peanuts for the crunchy garnish.