“Ezhuthaani poondu, neernochi, siriyanangai… all of those pack an actual punch,” says G Sriram Prasad, founding father of keeraikadai.com, the e-commerce firm that sources and sells 110 native sorts of keerai instantly from farmers throughout Tamil Nadu.
“There are stated to be over 500 varieties and we’re nonetheless counting. Our R&D crew works with farmers to grasp the medicinal values of those greens. Then, we depend on paati vaithyam, the place elders share recipes and their knowledge. We collate all that with data that’s out there on-line. We additionally promote the seeds to encourage individuals to develop them. Our goal is to show youngsters, and promote the idea of wholesome residing and of meals as medication,” says Sriram, who feels this will even empower farmers.
Sriram, who networks with 130 farmers in and round Tamil Nadu, says the concept to revive native greens took place throughout a pleasant chat with an aged couple. “They requested us to get varieties like purple pulicha keerai and gopuram thaangai. We had been solely supplying widespread varieties like ponnanganni, arakeerai and thandu keerai. So we requested farmers in Aliyar, close to Pollachi, and within the course of found so many extra native greens like ayyam panai and kal uruvi. The farmers additionally shared methods to cook dinner them: we collected over 100 recipes of soups, poriyals, kootus and thovayals.”
Meals author, chef, and cookbook creator Mallika Badrinath, who has written 30 books on vegetarian cuisines, recommends consuming at the very least 100 gms of greens daily. “When you cook dinner them with dal, they care for your protein requirement. Greens take away extra acid from the physique. Chop them up and sauté them with onions and add them to your sundal, to make it more healthy,” she suggests.
The inexperienced that’s purple: Crimson pulicha keerai
One finds this inexperienced solely within the wild now, says Sriram. The nutritional vitamins and minerals it has is alleged to chop down dangerous ldl cholesterol. It’s significantly good for the center. It’s barely bitter and may be consumed both uncooked or cooked as paruppu keerai, thokku, or thovayal. “I make pickles, chutney and a tasty purple pulicha keerai biryani too. Or make a keerai masiyal and have it with sizzling rice and a sprinkling of ghee,” says Mallika.
The multitasking: Avuri
“It is vitally troublesome to get avuri,” admits Mallika, who typically shops native greens in dry type. “I use them as garnish, in dosas, sandwiches and in chapathi dough.” Sriram says that as it’s fibrous, aruvi is usually made right into a paste together with goat’s milk. “The farmers use this paste to eliminate pores and skin allergy symptoms. Additionally they drink the juice extracted from boiling the leaves in water. It’s stated to rid the abdomen of worms. Dried avuri can be used together with yellow and white karisilanganni, and hibiscus flowers to make hair oil. Many corporates purchase avuri from us for medicinal functions,” says Sriram, including that solely a handful of farmers in Pollachi develop these greens now.
Good for the intestine: Ayyam panai and Thuthi
Ayyam panai, which is bristling with vitamins, is normally consumed in liquid type. “One of my colleagues tried it. When he suffered from mouth ulcer, he simply chewed on the leaves,” says Sriram. Thuthi is a typical inexperienced. As an experiment, Sriram tried out thuthi juice on an empty abdomen (thuthi leaves are believed to be cooling. It additionally flushes out toxins from the physique). “I made a paste of thuthi leaves, extracted the juice, added coconut milk and panangkalkandu to it and consumed it for over every week. I felt so mild and energetic.”
A detox marvel: Kal uruvi
This grows within the wild, and its leaves have a bitter style like that of tamarind leaves. “As the name suggests, it dissolves kidney stones,” says Sriram. Mallika says the sourness can simply be offset by cooking it otherwise. “For instance, as a substitute of tuardal, strive channa dal. Or mix two sorts of greens and cook dinner it with two dal varieties to get a brand new style.”
Heartfelt and wholesome: Gopuram thaangai
It’s believed to purify the blood, take away dangerous ldl cholesterol, and enhance the well being of the urinary tract. Sriram shares a tip: “An 85-year-old farmer in Pollachi attributes his good well being to the greens. He drinks juice extracted from gopuram thaangai and vilva leaves together with panangkalkandu, each morning, with out fail.”