Ponnaganti Koora Leaves
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Ponnaganti Koora is an erect bushy perennial with several spreading branches and lance shape leaves. The herbaceous leaves range from 2-10 centimeters long and are dotted with an occasional small white flower at their base. Ponnaganti Koora leaves are said to have a strong herbal flavor that can stand up to intense spice, but mellow to a spinach-like green when cooked.
Ponnaganti Koora leaves are available year-round, primarily in Southeast Asia.
Ponnaganti Koora is the native Telgu name for Alternanthera sessilis, a prolific perennial herb grown throughout the tropics and subtropics. It is a member of the diverse and ancient Amaranthaceae family, and known in English as Water Amaranth, Sessile Joy Weed or Dwarf Copperleaf. Touted as a miracle plant in India, where it is known by many names often preceded with the word ‘Pon’ meaning ‘gold’, Ponnaganti Koora is a cure-all, beauty aid and everyday vegetable.
Ponnaganti Koora leaves are a good source of manganese, iron, calcium and vitamins C and K.
The leaves of Ponnaganti Koora may be eaten raw or cooked. To prepare the leaves they should be removed from the stems, which can be tough and fibrous, and thoroughly washed. As a salad green, the leaves are best when harvested young as they are more tender and mild. Cooked leaves may be added to soups, curries, stir fries or simply sautéed with ghee. Ponnaganti Korra is often paired with lentils, rice, turmeric, chiles, cumin, garlic, onion, mustard seed, coriander and curries.
Ancient books and Indian healing gurus claim that if eaten for a period of 48 days, Ponnaganti Koora will heal the body of all deficiencies, and that its rich content of vital minerals and nutrients will make one “glow” with health. The oil of Ponnanganti, called thailam, is said to cool the body and used to treat excessive body heat and headaches.
Ponnaganti Koora thrives in moist, hot climates and is often found growing in wet disturbed areas around rice and sugar cane fields in tropical and subtropical regions. It is a native of southern Asia, but is now found in similar climates world-wide. This plant is sometimes difficult to identify as it has a host of aliases and even different growth patterns depending upon the conditions in which it is grown. In Ayurveda it is known as Matsyaakshi, in Siddha it is called Ponnonkanni keerai, its common folk name in India is Gudari Saag and in the Tamil dialect, Ponnanganni Kerrai; just to name a few.
Recipes that include Ponnaganti Koora Leaves. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Talimpu||Water Amaranth with Moon Dal|
|Saffron Trail||Beet, Feta and Water Amaranth Salad|