Cuban Oregano/ Ajwain leaf is a precious herb with very intense and deep flavor. The leaves of this herb have abundant medicinal properties and pack in lot of health nutrients. The plant grows as a shrub and spreads easily in gentle weather with minimum care. The leaves are round, spongy with a very aromatic flavor. These tender fleshy plant with Oregano like flavor and odor and is native to Southern and Eastern Africa. There is a particular variety of Cuban Oregano which you get in India which goes by the scientific name of Coleus Aromaticus. They are also known as Doddapatre/ Saviara sambara in Kannada, Panikkoorkka – Malayalam, karpooravalli / karpuravalli in Tamil, Vaamaku in Telugu.
It is used for treating cold, cough, and fever in infants. The extract has been used to treat asthma, dyspepsia, chronic coughs, bronchitis, colic, flatulence and rheumatism. The recommended dose is 1 Tablespoon, 4 times a day. It can be infused and drunk like tea. The poultice of leaves can also be applied directly to boils, carbuncles and swelling, and the pure juice has been poured into the ear to treat earaches.
We have a shrub at home and mom picked them regularly and made a Pachadi of this. Although my brothers didn’t like it much, we all ate it as it was medicinal and good for our health. In my in-laws place, a leaf or two is boiled in water and a small potion is given to sip when sick with cold and also to recuperate from stomach ailments. Interestingly, the herb is recommended a lot for child care and well being. Only few specialty stores sell these in powdered form in India which can be used if one can’t find the sapling.
Few recipes for which we used Carom Leaves at home is Pachadi, Tambli, Pakoras/Bhajji and Chutney.
Few health benefits of Carom Leaves are as listed below:
– The herb is used for curing stomach related ailments hence their popularity for curing various stomach related diseases like Cholera, Diarrhea, Dysentery, etc.
– The herb is very effective for various skin ailments and skin related diseases.
– A light juice or Kashaya made out of the leaves boiled in water serves as an excellent medicine for curing common cold.
After so much of information on Carom leaves here goes the recipe.
– Wash the leaves neatly and wipe them with tissue paper.
– Make the bajji batter with besan, chili powder,soda and salt. Add little water and mix well so that it forms a smooth thick batter.
– Heat oil in a wok and dip each leaf in the batter and gently slide in the oil and fry until golden brown on both sides.
– Drain on tissue paper.
– Serve hot with Tomato Sauce/ketchup.
Enjoy the Carom Fritters with hot cup of tea/coffee on a rainy evening.