18 May 2011

Agathi Keerai

I was on my way home from the Doctors on Monday, completely forgetting that it was the beginning of Full Moon. A day that one definitely tries to avoid shopping and errands. Well, I was committed so had to press forward to my destination which was a shop to purchase food for my dogs, adjacent to the Agni Tirtham.

Agni Tank

Pilgrims coming from the town

Walking Westward on Chengham Road

In front of the Agni Tirtham, some enterprising ladies had set up a stall selling the leafy green, Agathi Keerai for pilgrims to purchase and feed the nearby tethered cows. I felt very proud that the ladies were clever enough to sell a leafy green (readily available for free throughout the countryside) for Rs.5 a bunch thereby making money, ensuring their 10 cows were fed for free and also making the Pilgrims very happy to be able to offer food to the cows during their sacred girivalam. Well done to all.

Agathi Keerai

Agathi Keerai Plant

One of the reasons the Agathi Keerai caught my eye, was because it is one of my favourite green leaves. Yummy. Not only is it used extensively in India and throughout Southeast Asia as food for livestock, the leaves and white flowers of this plant are also widely used in recipes in the kitchen.

Agathi Keerai

Agathi Keerai (Sesbania Grandiflora) is also known as Hummingbird Tree Leaves or August Tree Leaves. It is highly edible and used as fodder for livestock and also in cooking throughout India and Southeast Asia. There are two kinds of this Tree - one with red flowers and the other with white flowers. However it is leaves of the Tree with the white flowers that is used for food.

As well as being delicious for both humans and livestock to eat, this plant is also commonly known for its health properties. Its benefits include: tonic, cooling properties and aid to digestion, cure for ulcers, aid to night blindness and dimness of vision, balances pitta and kapha, antidote for poisons, laxative qualities, cures fever and believed to restore equilibrium to mind. It can also be applied externally as a poultice and applied to bruises and sprains.

For an extensive, scholarly research of this leaf, including its medicinal qualities go to this link here.

And to check out some very tasty recipes using Agathi Keerai go to links here and here.

1 comment:

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