AGATHI KEERAI THUVARAN / PORIYAL
Agathi Keerai is classified under the green leafy vegetables category. For those who are not familiar with this green, Agathi Keerai is also known as;
Hummingbird Tree Leaves or West Indian pea tree.
Botanical Name: Sesbania grandiflora
My grandma used to say that Agathi keerai which is also known as “Aathu keerai” at my home has cooling properties and she used to insist on eating our greens without making a fuss when we were kids.
Eating Agathi keerai has a lot of benefits -
It is a tonic
It is cooling
It helps in digestion
It will cure ulcers in the stomach
It is a laxative
It balances pitta and kapha
It is an antidote for poisons
It is good for fever
It cures insanity
It is a very satvic food
Crushed leaves are applied to sprains and bruises of all kinds.
A tea made from the leaves is believed to have antibiotic, anti-thelmintic(a medication capable of causing the evacuation of parasitic intestinal worms), antitumour and contraceptive properties.
The principal medicinal effects are due to the trees’ astringency, hence it is used against inflammation, venom and other poisons, bacterial infections and tumors.
The bark is considered as a tonic and an antipyretic, a remedy for gastric troubles, colic with diarrhoea and dysentery.
A bark decoction is taken orally to treat fever and diabetes.
Juice of flowers put in the eyes is said to relieve dimness of vision.
The leaves also have medicinal value and are reported to cure night blindness in cattle.
The root is a well-known medicine for malaria.
Root juices are used for poultices and the leaves are applied for rheumatism, swellings, bruises and itching.
For systemic disorders, decoctions are taken internally.
Root resin, mixed with honey, is taken orally for phlegm and root juices are taken as an expectorant.
Sinus congestion is reduced by taking a flower decoction.
Agathi keerai is very good when mixed with milk and boiled and then made into curd and that made into buttermilk if taken twice a day all female related problems like white discharge, vaginal discharge with odour, over heat etc.can be solved.
This is not advised during medication, since it will reduce the power of medicine.
You can read more about the benefits by clicking on the link below.
Although its bitter in taste, don’t you think we need to eat this occasionally considering the health benefits associated with it.
Here is a wonderful Kerala recipe of the
“Aathu Keerai” / “Agathi Keerai”
Agathi Keerai – 1 bunch
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Udad dal - 1 tsp
Green chillies – 2-3
Red chillies – 1 broken into 2 halves
Turmeric -1/4 tsp
Asafetida (Hing) - a small pinch
Cooked Toor dal – 2 tbsps
Freshly grated Coconut – 1-2 tbsps
Cooking oil - 1 tbsp (Prefer coconut oil)
Salt as per taste.
Remove the Agathi leaves from its stem. There’s one easy way to do this. Hold the stem between your thumb and index finger and slide down de-stemming the leaves. Rinse well under running water in a colander. Chop the leaves into small pieces. Keep aside
In a Kadhai (wok), Add 1 tbsp of coconut oil, when it is hot, Add the mustard seeds and when they begin to crackle, Add udad dal and the red chillies, when the udad dal becomes slightly pink, add the green chillies and fry well, Add the chopped Agathi keerai leaves. Add turmeric, asafetida and salt, stir and close with lid and cook on low flame till it is cooked. Once it’s cooked add in the 2 tbsps of cooked tuvar dal, stir well, wait until the water drains completely and then add in the freshly grated coconut and stir fry till everything is mixed well.
I would like to send this dish to SWC-Cooking with greens event hosted by my blogger friend Sowmya.