Curry Leaf Pesto

To be honest, I have never been a big fan of curry leaves – it is prevalent in South Indian cuisine because of its fragrance and while I like the smell, I’ve always hated picking it out of my food (fun fact: my dad swears his hair didn’t gray till so much later in life because he used to eat his curry leaves unlike me!). ANYWAY – in 2020 when we moved back to Boston, one of my best friends wanted us to try an Indian fusion pizza place and insisted we try the curry leaf pesto pizza. I wasn’t exactly enthused about this, but we were getting a bunch of different kinds and I had my eyes on the paneer tikka pizza. Well, let me tell you: one bite of the curry leaf pesto pizza and I was shook. It was earthy, with that pungent in the most wonderful way only curry leaf can be and Karthik and I swore we would recreate it. 

Well it took over a year but I’m happy to report that we’ve come as close as we think we can get! We still drive 40 minutes each way to get the pizza whenever we can, its a family favorite whenever our parents come to visit. What I love about this recipe is that a little goes a long way: its a very strong flavor so just a little shmear on naan, with some toppings and cheese make for the perfect pizza! 

We hope you love this as much as we do! OH and if you’re ever in Boston, you have to try Veggie Crust: all their Indian fusion pizzas are amazing!

Tips & Tricks

  • I haven’t included a measure for olive oil as this is a “cook with your heart” ingredient: some people like a very runny pesto which obviously requires more olive oil; we prefer something a little chunkier so we add just enough to combine everything and freeze 
  • The ways in which you can use this pesto are endless: picture in this recipe is a flatbread, however we have made Tik Tok Pesto eggs, pasta, hash, even a spread in a sandwich! 

Recipe Information

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 16 cubes 


  • 1 cup curry leaves
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • Olive oil
  • Salt / pepper


  1. Dry roast washed & dried curry leaves for 3-5 minutes until fragrant
  2. In a food processor, gently pulse almonds until roughly crushed
  3. Add in roasted curry leaves and pulse a few times
  4. Slowly drizzle in olive oil one tbsp at a time until desired consistency 
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  6. Store in 1 inch cubes (you can use mini muffin tins w/ liners or silicone ice cube trays) in freezer 
  7. To use, thaw in microwave in 30 second increments