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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Why are curry leaves free?

    Whenever I buy a bunch of coriander leaves or mint leaves, I get a few sprigs of curry leaves, too, but the vendor will not take extra money for it and, in fact, will refuse the extra I give for it. I wonder why. It is not that curry leaves, like coriander leaves, spoil fast. That is since coriander leaves spoil fast, the vendor wants to finish off his stock as quickly as possible and is willing to give more for less money.

    Have you experienced this where you get a good number of curry leaves free?
  • #647953
    This is more or less of a tradition in India. It is often given free to keep customers coming back to the shop and buying in bulk. This is given free in most shops in Tamil Nadu.

    However, of late the curry leaves and coriander leaves are bunched together and sold at Rs.5 apiece and in cities like Coimbatore, they are sold for Rs.10/-.. For some strange reason the Coimbatore citizens never bargain and never accept anything free. So, the shop keepers are very happy with that.

    In the smaller towns, most housewives literally demand the curry leaves free. On a purchase of Rs,.200 or more, they often get a little free. I guess the expectation has been turned into a tradition in some places. In cities it is often priced and no one really bothers. The IT crowd keeps buying it for the Rs.5 or Rs.10/, since their cooking is restricted to the weekends, except when the parents are around.

  • #647956
    I think it has to do with curry leaves' availability. There are bushes of curry leaves around my house so we never even buy curry leaves. Maybe the person in market knows that too. Curry leaves grow anywhere and India is just suitable for them. Also you must have noticed that items absolutely important for daily life are always cheaper. Razor blades, water( compared to other commodities), pins, screws, etc are all cheaper because we need them in bulk and we need them a lot. So curry leaf, without which you cannot produce a purely Indian meal, is offered free or for few coins. That is what I feel so. Feel free to correct me.
    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #647959
    If things are not available much become costlier. Lemons become costlier in summer where they can be sold Rs.5 each as their demand is more and their availability is also less in that season. But in other seasons you may get them for Rs.1 each. Similarly vegetable vendors give curry leaves along with coriander leaves as free but they include that cost also in it. Usually one Curry leaf plant is there in a house they give the leaves abundantly through out the year. In our Colony every house have plenty of curry leaf plants which grow wildly without any little care. For us there is no question of buying curry leaves.

  • #647961
    During my childhood, I have never seen anyone buying curry leaves for cash. It was always free with the purchases. Now a bunch of curry leaves costs Rs. 5/- . Of course, when we buy a bunch of coriander leaves for Rs. 10/-, and if we demand some curry leaves, they give it free of cost. Unlike coriander leaves which need to be grown in the farm land or in kitchen garden, curry leave trees will grow well only if you regularly break the tree branches for use. It grows faster than any other tree. A curry leave tree planted once, will yield for many decades, if maintained, watered and nurtured well. Curry leaves are not to be transferred from hand to hand. They should be placed down and taken.
    No life without Sun

  • #647972
    As far as Hyderabad is concerned almost every home has the curry leaves plants and trees and plenty of which is available. And as far as I know no body would shop for it. And the vendors also keep the curry leaves as the freebie to attract the customers. And curry leaves grows in plenty and wont get spoiled even for one week. Even raw dry curry leaves are made to powder and used. And the curry leaves does not require constant watering to it. Once planted it goes leaps and bounds and the seeds thrown here and there through winds gives rise to small curry leaves plants and that plenty availability of the same makes it s a freebie offer by the vendors.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #647975
    One thing is availability of the curry leaves and then the practice or tradition of handing over a small quantity to the customer as free.

    Long back, I remember, in some areas the vendor used to give coriander leaves, ginger, green chillies, curry leaves etc in a small amount known as 'masala' as free with the vegetable purchase. With time as coriander leaves and other such freebies cost rose, they started to charge for them.

    Somehow, due to abundant availability of curry leaves it still maintains it's free status.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #647984
    In Kerala, with every purchase of a vegetable kit, irrespective of the amount, the vendors give some curry leaves and coriander leaves free of cost. It may be due to the availability factor or maybe as a matter of practice related to courtesy.
    'Any fool can know. The point is to understand."- Albert Einstein

  • #647997
    These curry leaves are available plenty. Many houses will have these plants. We have a curry leaves plant in our house also. My wife will be distributing this leaves to the neighbours and relatives nearby. Similarly, in many places, we will find these plants plenty. So people will not generally purchase these curry leaves. They will get free of cost. That is the reason probably in some places the vendors will give some leaves as a free item with other vegetable purchases. The main reason for this is the availability.
    But in Hyderabad, I have never seen any vendor giving these items free. They will give at a cheaper rate only.

    always confident

  • #648019
    In our part of Hyderabad, that is in Bhel Township, curry leaves are no more offered free of cost. The sellers charge 5 or 10 rupees depending upon the quantity. Anyway, we don't have to purchase any of it as there are plenty of curry plants around our quarters. Wondering, who then purchases them. Just beyond the boundaries of our township, there is a concrete jungle, where forget curry plants, you won't find even a single blade of grass growing. And yes, there are some upmarket gated communities around, where you will do see some greenery, but then it won't be fashionable to grow curry plants there. It's from there that hundreds of residents, or may be thousands, come to Bhel to shop from the weekly fruits and vegetable market.

    I remember, in my native Bengal, some of the vegetable sellers used to offer a little bit of coriander leaves and green chilli all free of cost, along with the other vegetables that we used to purchase. Don't know, whether the practice is still popular or not. Curry leaves are not commonly available in the markets in the east.

    Patience and perseverance pays

  • #648065
    Am in Bengaluru. Today, in the evening, I went to a vegetable shop inside a Super market. After buying the vegetables, the bill amount was Rs. 112/-. Then I asked him to give me some coriander leaves and curry leaves. He added Rs.8/- and totalled the sum as Rs. 120/- When I asked him about Rs.8/- for coriander leaves and curry leaves, he said Rs.3/- for coriander leaves and Rs.5/- for curry leaves.

    I told him that I was told that curry leaves are given free, and never charged. Knowing that I am a Tamil, he said,"Sir, it is free in Tamilnadu, not in Karnataka." I told him that we discussed this issue today in a web site, and all said that it is a tradition not to charge for curry leaves." He said,"Sir, O Purane Jamaane Mem Free Thaa. Abb Nahi" I said," Teek hai ji. Curry leaves kaa Jamaana Sachmuch Badal Gaya."

    No life without Sun

  • #648199
    There is one aspect I wish to bring out in relation to curry leaves being given for free - why do people take more than they really would require? On a trip to Chennai, I had visited the Saravana store, a huge supermarket. On the ground floor of the vegetables' section, there were two large crates just in front of the section, both being filled with a huge quantity of curry leaves. The staff standing there informed customers that they could take it for free. So, happily, people were picking up good bunches of them. On noting this, the staff politely requested the customers not to take too much, that it would be good to leave some for other customers also!
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #648203
    Why the Curry leaves are kept in large crates, and not distributed by a staff? Because, as I said it earlier, curry leaves should not be exchanged directly from hand to hand. If required, they should have made it in small little bundles that is required for a family. These days, diabetic patients are advised to eat curry leaves to maintain their sugar level. Hence, someone might take more quantity of curry leaves available freely.

    No life without Sun

  • #648235
    Curry leaves are used for making chutney and are also used in a huge number of both vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes and, am told in non vegetarian dishes too. Those who take it free distribute it to neighbours. It is now given in very small quantities. In Bangalore, it is priced and not given free.

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