Gongura/Sorrel/Roselle – A nutritious green
This native green which grows quite easily and profusely in the southern parts of India is known especially for the tangy and spicy chutney that is made using its leaves. That’s its call to fame I would say! If you are not familiar with it then let me give you it’s botanical name – Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) or Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa); there are differnet varieties of it and is found in its red and green forms. Here in Tamilnadu, it’s commonly known as Pulicha Keerai.
It’s mainly grown for its edible leaves in India but the beautiful pink tea made using its flower/fruit pod is well known too. I have been growing these on my farm and I have to say, that it’s a joy to watch them grow luxuriously. To harvest the greens and to be able to cook it fresh gives me so much satisfaction.
Here’s a video of this green growing on my farm and it’s harvest –
I usually don’t dwell too much into the health benefits of any of the plants I grow because, well all produce are good for you one way or another. But I do understand that people do want to know a little bit about the benefits. So here it is;
- It is considered to be an excellent source of folate
- A very good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Vitamin B6.
- It is also a rich source of iron and zinc.
- It is a wonderful source of anti-oxidants too.
- It also contain moderate levels of potassium, calcium and magnesium, which help strengthen the bones.
- The leaves and flowers are known to help cool the body and reduce inflammation.
- Studies have proven their effectiveness in treatment of hypertension, by lowering the blood pressure of the body and also their effectiveness in controlling diabetes.
[Disclaimer: This is just a compilation of information. Please do your own further research to learn more]
If you want my tried and tested family recipe to make Gongura pickle/chutney/pachadi, CLICK HERE
There’s a lot more benefits to this humble looking native green which doesn’t get the same lime-light like it’s counterparts. Let’s not fall for media propagated agendas and learn how our very own local foods are loaded with so much nutrition and how they are side-lined to showcase exported foreign produce. I have been #Vocalforlocal long before this hashtag started trending.
I urge you to be a conscious consumer and know more about your own local power-house produces that are packed with nutrients before you reach for those price-y, foreign produce.
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See you soon with another interesting post!