Mukkarattai Keerai Masiyal:
This is also called as Punarnava in Sanskrit. The Botanical name is Boerhaavia diffusa. The English name common name is Boerhaavia. In Tamil we call this Mukkarattai keerai. It has small pink flowers! Its kind of wild creeper...grows near wet paddy fields. In colloquial Tamil....they were calling it mukkaruthan keerai'. But it is Mukkarattai Keerai. So help yourself to spot them!
These greens are not found in any commercial market! One need to be an expert in picking the right greens from the neighbouring paddy fields or so. So my cook Usha Nandhini(25 year old smart girl, back home) is an expert in greens, herbs and stuff. She searched for these greens all over the neighbourhood and found somewhere. She had hard time explaining about this greens to the landlords....that's an entirely different story! She was so particular about showing me different greens that we could make use of cooking! She personally listed them and hand picked them for me. As she gave me directions....I prepared it. Actually not much variation from what we usually make....but these kind of rare greens should be done with its own nativity....so went by her rules. She was particular about using only dry red chilies(Gundu kaindha milagai)...don't know the significance....but did the same. And I was also alerted...that these leaves have some kind of enzymes that will give us slight irritation even after cooking thoroughly. Yeah...it did irritate me....my lips had that itchy feeling! Anyways.....it is also loaded with goodness, I have listed it below.
One of the best diuretic. It is also a laxative, Expectorant – It helps to eject phlegm. Refrigerant – It is body coolant. Anthelmintic –Destroys worms! Febrifuge – Mitigates fever. Stomachic – Strengthens the stomach. Diaphoretic – it promotes perspiration. It induces vomiting in large doses!
Used in treatment of - Swelling, Skin diseases, Nervous weakness, Habitual constipation, Ascites, Paralysis, Blood pressure, Hepatic disorders, Bronchial problems, Scrofula, Dropsy, Anemia, Heart diseases, Kidney problems, Gonorrhea, Internal colic....etc.
Mukkarattai Keerai 1 bunch
Onion 1 small roughly chopped
Garlic 5 beads
Tomato 1 small chopped
Dry red chilies 5 chopped
Tamarind 1 lemon size (soaked in water and pureed)
Cooked thoor dal 1 cup(optional)
Sesame oil few spoons.
Thalippu Vadagam 1 spoon
Mustard seeds 1/4 spoon
Cumin seds 1/4 spoon
Asafoetida 1/4 spoon
Chana dal 1/2 spoon
Urad dal 1/2 spoon
Dry red chilies 3 - splitted
Curry leaves few
Sesame oil few spoons.
Wash and clean the greens. Cut away the thick stem, retain the soft stems and leaves alone.
In a wok, heat few spoons of oil. Add chilies, garlic, onion and toamto and saute for few minutes.
Then add greens, salt and tamarind water to it. Cover and cook....till they wilt.
Now grind them coarsely using mann-chatti/kal-chatti.
In a seperate pan, heat oil. Add the sesonning items one by one, wait till they pop and splutter. Now run this sesonning over the masiyal made above.
Serve warm to go with palin rice. Adding steamed rice to the mann-chatti and make a earthern pot meal - tastes better this way too!