Today’s Recipe is special edible leaves stir-fry with coconut.
The Malayalam month of Karkidakam is here. In Kerala, we are entering the final phase of monsoon season. And this is considered the best time for monsoon (ayurveda) therapy in Kerala. There are many special ayurvedic dishes made during this time of the year. Pathila (10 leaf) thoran made with ten medicinal leaves in ayurveda is one among them. Usually the leaves used are of spinach (cheera), pumpkin (mathan), ash gourd (kumbalam), cow pea (payar), Taro (thalu), cassia (thakara), hogweed (thazhuthama), colocasia (chembu), Elephant yam (chena), Lollipop climber (neyyunni).
But staying away from Kerala means no access to many of these plants. So I just took some 2-3 rounds of my house to find out what all edible leaves are there in my yard. And surprisingly, I could find more than 10 of them. If I have to say the exact number, then there were 20 plants with edible leaves in my yard. May be there are more which i am not sure about.
The leaves I used are
- Spinach (Green and red)
- Water leaf or Ceylon Spinach (Sambar Cheera)
- Ivy Gourd leaf (Kovakka)
- Ash Gourd (Kumbalam)
- Cucumber (Vellari)
- Gongura (Kenaf)
- Wonderberry or Sunberry (Manathakkali)
- Pepper Elder (Mashithandu)
- Spring Onion (Ulli thandu)
- Agathi (Humming Bird Tree)
- Cowpea (payar)
- Curry Leaf
- Hogweed (Thazhuthama)
The Drumstick leaves are also there. But it is said not to use them in Karkidakam as they are said to develop a bitter taste during this period. Also they are believed to release toxins into the leaves during the monsoon period of the year. But I guess this purely depends on the place where it is growing. Places like where we are staying now don’t receive rain like Kerala monsoon. Still I didn’t use the. Why take chances during a pandemic?
So let’s do the cooking now;
Edible Leaves Stir-fry
Edible leaves stir-fry is our modern version of pathila (10 leaf) thoran made with ten medicinal edible leaves during monsoon (Karkidakam) in Kerala. Use any available edible leaves from your yard.
- 5 cups Edible leaves, shredded
- 1 Onion, peeled
- 6-7 Garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 2 tbsp Coconut oil
- 1 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 cup Shredded Coconut
- 2 Green Chili
- 1 sprig of curry leaf
- Salt to taste
Dice the onion and chili into small pieces.
Add oil to a hot pan. Add crushed garlic and saute for a second. Then mix the onion and chili into this, Stir cook until the onion is soft.
Then add the curry leaves and turmeric powder. Mix well.
Add the coconut and salt. Stir well to combine. Cook for a minute in medium flame.
Then add the leaves into this. Stir and mix to combine. Cook on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Then reduce the heat to low and cook for another 2 minutes. Add more salt if needed.
Remove from heat. Serve as side dish with rice.
- Wash the leaves before chopping. The measurement of leaves doesn't matter. Use more if needed.
- No need to add water to cook. The leaves itself contains enough moisture to cook.
- Better not to cover with a lid. The leaves will become mushy if covered while cooking. Also the green color fades if you cover while cooking.
The leaves are beneficial to human health in many ways. They are a wonderful source of vital energy, vitamins, minerals, proteins, dietary fiber and of great medicinal values. Leaves are said to be the powerhouse of plants, where the food is prepared, and while eating the greens, we are taking in that energy. So make sure to include all the edible leaves in your food.
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