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Benefits of Mudakathan Keerai

BALLOON VINE (or) MUDAKATHAN KEERAI – Cardiospermum halicacabum

Do you have any unruly plants on your garden or farm? This plant has been growing here, at this very same spot for the past 2 years now. What did you say, “You can’t find it, is it?” Exactly my point. Now you can imagine my plight every time I have to look for it!

I have tried everything to transplant it to a different location where the soil is better and where we can take better care of it. But no. It won’t grow anywhere else and would die on us every time we try. It has found its spot somewhere between the Jamun tree and the Sapota (Chikku) tree. And as it grows adamantly only among copious weeds, it is such a challenge to locate it when I want some. I basically just blindly match in the direction that it grows, keeping a keen look out for this plant and after a few minutes of frantic search, I locate it. This is exactly how I have to hunt it down Every. Single. Time.

     

This adamant creeper is Mudakathan keerai, commonly called Balloon vine in English. You will probably understand why it is called “Balloon” vine if you see this next picture.

 

After many such blind hunts later, finally some good sense prevailed and I decided to build a make-shift trellis for it. Not that it needs a trellis for support or anything but for my convenience. This way at least, I can easily spot it and it won’t get mowed down during random weeding sessions.

                

                

PIC COURTESY – AUTHOR’S OWN

 

BENEFITS OF MUDAKATHAN KEERAI (BALLOON VINE)

Of all the common leafy greens we consume, this one has some Unique benefits; You will be bowled over by their uses!

  • Mudakathan keerai or leaves has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
  • This is one of the Best Greens for joint pain, swelling in the joints and is effective for rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Mudakathan is used in Indian traditional medicine system for the treatment of rheumatism and stiffness of limbs.
  • It has also been found effective in treating lumbago, cough and some nervous diseases.
  • It gives noticeable relief in patients of arthritis, joint pain and even gout patients.
  • It’s anti-inflammatory properties make it an effective home remedy for rheumatoid arthritis and nervous breakdown.
  • Mudakathan keerai is widely used for treating ear pain, cough and cold.
  • The plant have special gastric benefits and mild laxative properties.
  • Decoction made by boiling leaves in water and the powder form are consumed to treat constipation and stomach pain.
  • It is also well known to relieve menstrual cramping and dysmenorrhoea.
  • Mudakathan keerai is often used to improve energy level and reduce general tiredness.
  • Mudakathan keerai is also beneficial for skin problems. It is known to give relief from dandruff and itchy scalp when it is applied in the form of a paste on to the scalp and hair.

If you liked reading this, I am sure you will love reading about Thalik keerai and Musumusukkai  Click to read…these lesser known greens are amazing! Oh, you will love it for sure! Once done, check out the recipes below for Mudakathan keerai.

RECIPES USING MUDAKATHAN KEERAI

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Mudakathan Keerai Dosai Recipe :

The most popular way of using mudakathan keerai is by making dosa out of it. The easiest way to prepare this dosai is by mixing the paste of keerai with your regular idli batter.

Ingredients:

Idli-dosa batter – 3 cups
Mudakathan Keerai – 1 cup (washed)
Green chilli – 1 medium
Ginger – 1/2 inch piece
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp

Procedure:

  • Wash one cup of mudakathan keerai leaves
  • Grind this along with green chilli, ginger and cumin seeds to a fine paste
  • Add it to your idli batter
  • Adjust the salt if needed
  • The batter should neither be too thick nor too thin
  • Mudakathan keerai dosa batter is ready!

Make dosas in a cast iron skillet (that’s what I use) and serve it along with your favourite chutney. I like to pair it with coconut chutney, peanut chutney, onion chutney or even radish chutney! YUM!

This Mudakathan keerai dosa is delicious and highly nutritious too. I like using it in this form because it can be easily given to children without them fussing over eating greens and this has a choke full of nutrients and vitamins.

Mudakathan Keerai Thuvaiyal (dry chutney) Recipe:

Another recipe using mudakathan keerai is mudakathan thuvaiyal. To make the thuvaiyal,

Ingredients:

Mudakathan keerai – 1/2 cup (washed)
Urad dal (split black gram) – 2 tablespoons
Red chillies – 3
Fresh coconut – 2 tablespoons
Tamarind – gooseberry size
Salt – to taste
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves – a few

Procedure:

  • Heat a tsp of oil in heavy bottomed pan
  • Fry the red chillies
  • Add urad dal and fry till light golden, remove from pan and keep aside
  • In the same pan, saute mudakathan keerai till it wilts
  • Now add the coconut along and the tamarind and saute it for a about 2 minutes and remove from fire.
  • Grind everything together into a very thick paste along with some salt
  • Add a bit of water if needed
  • You can season this mixture with some mustard seeds and curry leaf tempering
  • Your thovaiyal is ready!

This thuvaiyal can be had with hot rice along with a generous drizzle of homemade ghee
Or you can have it as a side accompaniment for sambar rice, rasam rice or vatha kuzhambu.

Enjoy!

Mudakathan keerai Rasam

Ingredients:

Mudakathan leaves – 1 handful
Coriander seeds – 2 tsp
Cumin – 1 tsp
Pepper – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Garlic cloves – 3 cloves
Tomato – 1 no
Tamarind – gooseberry size
Water – 2 cups
Salt to taste

For seasoning –
Oil – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Urad da – 1/4 tsp
Red chilli – 1
Curry leaves – one sprig
Asafoetida – 1 pinch

Procedure:

In a clay pot,add some oil and saute the greens

Add a cup of water and let it cook

To this add turmeric and salt.

In a mixer jar add some coriander seeds, cumin and pepper and grind it coarsely

Chop the tomato and pulse is in the blender coarsely.

Coarsely pound the whole garlic (along with the peel) in a mortar and pestle

Now add both above mixture to the boiling leaves.

Add tamarind water to this mixture and let it simmer.

Once the mixture starts frothing on top add the tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves, red chili and asafoetida.

And your Mudakathan Rasam is ready to be served!

Mudakathan Keerai Soup Recipe For Cold & Cough:

I like making this soup when we have a cold or cough as its mild and has a soothing effect.

Ingredients:

Mudakathan keerai – 1/2 cup (washed)
Whole Peppercorns – 1/4 tsp
Cumin – 1/2 tsp
Garlic – 1 clove
Ghee/oil – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

Procedure:

Using a mortar & pestle coarsely pound peppercorns and cumin seeds.
Now add a clove of garlic and crush it along with the above mix
Heat an iron kadai and heat some homemade ghee
Fry the pounded spices for a few seconds in low flame
To this add the washed mudakathan keerai leaves and fry till it wilts
Add 2 cups of water to this and let it simmer
Once the leaves are cooked, add salt to taste and remove from fire
You can have it as it is or alternatively, gently mash up the ingredients and strain it.

This soup is perfect for cold & cough and can be given to children.
It is recommended for convalescents, as it is very light on the stomach and extremely nutritious

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DO YOU HAVE ANY INTERESTING RECIPES USING THIS KEERAI…PLEASE COMMENT BELOW SO I COULD TRY IT TOO.

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9 thoughts on “Benefits of Mudakathan Keerai”

  1. Pingback: - Tamil Crew

  2. Oh yes,I liked the breezy writing and the content too.
    Your narration has life like the stubbornness of Mudakathan to find its own space rather than survive in a posh garden has life lessons.
    Looking forward to a journey to know more about you and the best tips you convey for better living.

    Regards

    1. I actually didn’t plant them or grow them from seed. In my case I just found them growing on my farm. Probably came from neighbouring area.

  3. Pingback: Vallarai Keerai Benefits & Delicious Recipes | Kalpavriksha Farms

  4. Praful H Bhandari

    Themodakathan ends or shoot needs to be regularly clipped for it to grow and if you collect the balloons they have seeds which can be collected and sowed at a place of your choice but before seeding put a lot of compost it will come. What all greens do you have

    1. This mudakathan creeper grew as a weed on my farm. I never sowed seeds for this…It just grows and i leave it wherever it grows taking care to add compost and water. I also have thalik keerai, pasalai, agathi, murungai, sukkan etc

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