7.4.09

Vallarai Keerai Paruppu




Vallarai Keerai Kothu Paruppu:

Centella asiatica is the Botanical name of this creeper! The English common name is 'Asian Penny wort' or 'Penny Wort'. They call this as Brahmi/ Gotu Kola is Hindi. We call it 'Vallarai Keerai' in Tamil. Other names: Bemgsag, Brahma manduki, Brahmanduki, Brahmi, Ondelaga and Gotu Kola.

This is a wild creeper, found near the river banks and wet paddy fields! It creeps to the side wards. The leaves are bit bitter in taste.

Science Behind the Greens: It has two important saponins called 'brahmoside' and 'brahminoside'. Guess folks claim make sense to me...as this is widely used to treat skin disorder(in the village). These two saponis are responsible for rectifying the scars or wrinkles or rashes(sounds nice, right)!! These greens have several phytochemicals like triterpenoids...which has anti-inflammatory property(Wow)! They posses alkaloids, minerals like iron and copper - helps to purify the blood and increase iron absorption(good for anaemic patients)! The most important factor that I am interested in it is...it is composed of lots of amino acids like alanine, threonine, serine, asparate, glutamate, lysine, histidine and alanine. Though I couldn't point out an exact amino acid...that is responsible for improving one's memory power(improve intelligence) but I could pretty much say...all these amino acids have a cumulative effect on one's brain!

Like to give it simple...brain has a severe barrier system, it doesn't just allow any amino acid/chemical to pass through it(unless until it has necessary job). So most of the drugs(98% brain related drugs/even depression pills)doesn't reach the brain cell. They are all gimmicks! Anyways, pharma firms are working on some 'hybrid' pills inorder to smuggle their drug to cross that tuff blood-brain barrier, okay! Well...coming to my point, these amino acids (not just one...more than 5 essential amino acids) have the capacity to cross the blood-brain barrier!! For example 'Serotonin is good for memory power'...but even though we eat lots of serotonin rich diet...it can't travel beyond the blood stream. Research is saying that more than 5 amino acids in the diet help to cross this barriet. But what percentage of each a.a is still not clear to the scientists. They say...genetics/our gene is pre-programmed for intelligence & memory power. Please don't get upset...eat a complete balanced diet, I guess it is also the lifestyle(though Scientist are not conclusive about the percentage)taking a balanced meal could really help!!

Folk's Remedy:

According to folks remedy they are body tonic, strengthens the body, improves one's immune system (to fight against the disease), blood purifier, iron rich (good for anaemic patients), it is said that pharmaceutical companies put them in good use to produce more face creams and stuff! It has some important factors to rectify the early signs of wrinkles! It is strongly recommended to improve one's memory power!

Ingredients:

Asian Penny worts - Leaves 1 bowl - chopped
Chilies 3-6 chopped
Onions 1 bowl(thinly sliced)
Garlic 6 chopped
Tomato 1 large chopped
Lentils(moong dal/thuvar dal)1 cup
Salt
Cumin seeds 1 spoon
Olive oil 2 spoons.

Method:

Cook lentils with water, salt and a spoon full of oil. Maybe in a pressure cooker, till 3 whistle sounds.

In a wide vessel, heat oil. Add cumin and wait till it crackles.

Now add cumin, chilies, garlic and fry for a minute. Then add onions & tomatoes...saute for few more minutes.

Add greens and cooked lentils to this. Further add salt too. Cover and cook till they are done.

Serve warm in a soup bowl. Its also good to go with plain steamed rice, as well.

30 comments:

Adlak's tiny world said...

Mm... good n informative post i too heard a lot abt vallarai. but I never tried this keera in my cooking.

yr keerai pappu sounds healthy and yummy.

Sathya Sankar said...

Delicious paruppu Malar. The keerai looks very fresh. love vallarai, but not able to find it here :(

pinkrose said...

Vallarai keerai with dhal...mm... what a sight to my eyes. Heard about the memory thing associated with vallarai. But ur explanation stunned me. Hope the beauty maniacs don't hear about this wrinkle removal property. Then we can see a lot of pharmas doing research with it:)
Nice post.

Ushanandini said...

Ah..vallarai keerai! All those science stuff are amazing. Keerai paruppu is inviting and colorful! I can remember the bitter taste( I am good in memory hehehe). Once upon a time ,I used to cook thuvatal and this kottu. But I dont find here. Healthy keerai paruppu.

Varsha Vipins said...

I just made a spinach dal last day..This looks similar..but know tastes diffrent..looks good Malar..:)

Vibaas said...

my mom says about vallaarai all the time. nice recipe and information, malar.

Ann said...

Brahmi ? I think this is the one we had lots near to ours house (we had a beautiful river as neighbour.)Many came there insearch of Brahmi for new borns..Its been known as best for memory.(I miss it now anyway..)
Informative read as always Malar..Btw,lentiles and keerai even i make here..But never tried with unusal creepers like this..
Malar,the name Vellarai Keerai sounds cute..

Priya Sriram said...

Used to have this keerai when going to school for good memory! :)
Very healthy entry Malar!

Pooja said...

New to me..looking delicious malar..

RAKS KITCHEN said...

Nice recipe using vallara kerai Malar! GLad that u get all these greens there!

Sanghi said...

Wow, this is wxactly how i would make. Excellent click dear:)

Shama Nagarajan said...

healthy recipe malar..yummy

Kitchen Flavours said...

Wow another green...I got introduced to many greens from your blog....Redipe looks delish.

Akal's Saappadu said...

it's been years since I had vallarai keerai and looks absolutely slurp slurp with the paruppu kadayal!!!

like each time I come over here, today, I know something new about the intake of amino acids and serotonin and their efficiency in our brain cells!

I understand why I'm not still in the NASA , inspite of my abundant intake of the serotonin and the amino acids lol :)

but the wrinkles part and the folk remedy seems to be encouraging :)

sharada said...

hi,
You have a Nice blog.
Thank you for visiting my space & leaving that wonderful comment.
Do visit again.
The greens dal looks delicious.

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Malar, its been ages since I heard this name... The science behind it mmm I loved that so is the dish looks great and calls healthy...

DailyDiva said...

Sure..Kandippa Varalam! You're always welcome!:)

Wow! Vallaarai Keerai inga kedaikudha?! Amma used to grow this in her garden, appollaam keeranaley allergy..LOL...Ippothaan adhoda aruma puriyudhu (after seeing only 2 types of greens here!)

Apram there was one specific plant used to treat cold. Rasam veppaanga - keezhanelliya? Oops, perumaranthupochi :) Vallarai looks yum, maybe I should take this right now to remember the name..LOL

AnuSriram said...

Looks delicious malar! I really wonder how you get all these good stuffs here... Gr8!

Vishali said...

Delicius Dal Malar...good with some pickle and rice ...;).

Asha said...

Unique soppu to find it here, never tried that greens before. Looks great, I love any greens dish, always so yum! :)

Gita's Kitchen said...

Vallara keerai dhal sounds very intresting Malar, love the color of this dhal!

Balakrishna Saraswathy said...

Healthy and yummy recipe with dhal..my hubby's favorite choice of green veggie..he like in chutney form da..

Jaishree said...

Nice information about vallarakeerai.Looks delicious Malar:)

Ashwini said...

Dhal looks yumm..Love any greens..We don't find this here:-(..

Deepa Hari said...

Keerai paruppu looks yum Malar...very healthy....Nice info.

Meenal Mehta said...

dal looks yummy and very healthy Malar:)

Madhumathi said...

Wow..Lovely recipe with vallarai keerai.I like greens with dal ..Thanks for sharing :)

Premyscakes said...

sounds interesting , your pic is so inviting. would love to do it, but we dont get them here.

Vasu said...

Hey thanks for the post. I needed to ask you something.. Should we be removing each and every leaf separately before cooking or can we chop the keera with the kaambu ( stem) ?? i know some keerai like ponnankani should be only cooked with out the stem, with just the leaves. i am not sure about the vallarai keera.. if u can please help me with this, it will help me save time removing the leaves before cooking :-)
Thanks.

Malar Gandhi said...

Hi Vasu,

Its just the leaves alone should be used for cooking, no stalk.

I know its kind of hard to clean, but not impossible...as the leaves are big and uniform...we can gather them into mini-bunch and chop away the long stalk, easy:)