(Green Leafy Vegetables, Keerai Vagaigal, Mustard greens, Collard greens, Turnip greens, Radish greens, Beet leaves, Kale,Swiss Chard, Bok Choy, Spinach, Amarnath Leaves)
When the leaves of plants are eaten as vegetable, they are referred to as Greens or simply as Leafy Vegetables. Almost all the greens are low in calories, high in iron content, high in vitamins and dietary fibre. They are eaten raw in salad or made into juice or cooked. It can be boiled, steamed, stir-fried or baked. In India, the common preparations using leafy vegetables are simple sabzi, dal, kootu, poriyal and thuvayal. Greens are also often mixed with chapati, puri dough or dosa batter to improve its nutritional value.
Below, I have shared recipes using different greens - both the ones available in India as well as other greens from around the world. I have given a brief introduction about each of these greens too. It will be useful if you are trying to add more leafy vegetable to your daily cooking.
I have listed the greens in alphabetical order for convenience. Please go through and comment below. Also share details about other greens that may be in the list below.
Amarnath Leaves (Thandu Keerai, Mulai Keerai (முளைக் கீரை), Chowli, Cheera, Thota Kura)
These leaves are known by different names which I have listed above. The speciality of these is that the stem (thandu) is tender and is edible. The leaves are chopped along with the stem and used in preparing poriyal, dal and sabzi with potato. These are avialable in red variety and green variety.
Balloon Vine (Mudakathan Keerai)
Beetroot are sold along with its greens in most western countries. In India this is not found in markets. In case anyone has beet plants at home, please make use of the leaves. It tastes so good and has a beautiful colour. The leaves goes well with all Indian spices and is perfect for all Indian style preparations.
Black Nightshade Leaves (Garden Huckleberry, Wonder Berry, Manathakkali Keerai)
False Daisy (Eclipta Prostrata, Karisalankanni, Bringraj)
This plant has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine. There are two varieties : one with white flowers (vellai karisilankanni) and one with yellow flowers (manjal karisalankanni). The white one is mostly used in the preparation of hair oil, as these leaves are known to prevent hairfall, dandruff and all other kind of hair problems. The yellow one is also good for your hair. Along with that it is also used for the treatment of jaundice, for liver problems and skin diseases. This yellow variety is used to make poriyal, kootu, thuvayal etc.
Ivy Gourd Leaves
Red and White (Daikon) Radish Greenw
Red Sorrel Leaves (Gongura, Pulicha Keerai)
Snow Peas Leaves
Veldt Grape (Devil's Backbone, Adamant Creeper, Pirandai)