Mudakathan Keerai – Benefits and Recipes

Mudakathan Keerai – Balloon vine (Cardiospermum halicacabum) leaves is a miraculous ingredient with innumerable benefits to health, which can be included in our regular diet.

It can be commonly seen in roadside/wasteland around South India and at home, this perennial climber is extremely easy to grow as well. 

Get a small sapling or use seeds to propagate at home, let it climb on a window grill or through the balcony pillar. Requires minimal efforts to be nurtured, yet giving back astounding benefits of good health.

It is commonly called Balloon Vine as it bears fruits in the shape of the balloon.

Benefits of Mudakathan Keerai:

The most important benefit of this plant is that it is used in treating Arthritis, joint pain and inflammations in the joints. Regular intake of leaves through soup or as powder mixed in water helps to reduce the pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. It has traditionally used to treat stiffness of the limbs and pain in joints.

Other proven benefits include:

  1. Works well against mild ulcers and gastric pains, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
  2. Helps in handling menstrual cramps and regulating the cycle.
  3. Works well in controlling dandruff and hair fall and improving hair growth
  4. Rich source of anti-oxidants, which prevents cell damage.
  5. Treats constipation.
  6. Has good anti-bacterial properties.
  7. Works good for cough and cold as well.

Read About – 4 Herbs You should Grow in Your Home

Simple Recipes Using Mudakathan Keerai (Balloon Vine Leaves):

Rasam:

For serving 4 people.

  • Balloon vine leaves – a liberal handful bunch
  • Pepper corns – ½- ¾  teaspoon
  • Garlic pods – 7-8
  • Cumin seeds – 1-1.5 teaspoons
  • Red chilli – 2
  • Green chilli – 1
  • Tomato – 2 medium size
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  • Coriander powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Asafoetida  – a pinch

For Tampering

  • Mustard seeds – ¼ teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – 2 strands
  • Shallots – 2 finely chopped
  • Oil – for tampering

Method:

  • Coarsely grind pepper, cumin, green and red chillies, garlic without adding water. Keep it aside.
  • Mash/squeeze tomatoes into a bowl of water (600-700ml) nicely.
  • Add asafoetida, turmeric powder and coriander powder and mix well. Add salt and check for taste. Keep is aside.
  • Heat a teaspoon of oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds, curry leaves and onion.
  • After the splutter slows down, add the ground masala and saute for a min or two.
  • Add the cleaned leaves, and sauté until they wilt.
  • Add the tomato –masala mixture and let it boil for 6-8 minutes till the tomatoes cook well.
  • Rasam is ready. Relish with hot rice and ghee.

Note:

We avoid using tamarind in the rasam preparation to preserve nutrients it provides, in its maximum quotient. If you can want to make the rasam sourer, typical of tasting like a rasam, you can another tomato.

Read about – Home Remedy for Intestinal Worms

Dosa:

For making 10 dosas

  • Dosa Batter – As needed to make 10 dosas
  • Balloon vine leaves – a handful
  • Green chillies – 1 or 2
  • Cumin seeds – ½ teaspoon
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece.

Method:

  • Grind the above ingredients to a fine paste.
  • Mix it in the dosa batter.
  • Make dosas as you would normally prepare them.

Soup:

  • Leaves – 1 cup
  • Pepper –  ¼ teaspoon crushed
  • Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Garlic pods – 1-2 (roughly crushed) (optional)
  • Asafoetida – a pinch
  • Salt – as per taste

Method:

  • Boil all the ingredients except Asafoetida and salt in 3 cups of water.
  • Let it boil for 6-8 minutes until the water reduces to half.
  • Add asafoetida and salt and drink it while it is warm.

Note:

  • Those suffering joint pains and arthritis can drink this regularly, while others can include it once or twice in a week.
  • This soup works well for cough and cold as well.

Read about – Easy Detox Drink To Cleanse Your Body

Mudakathan Keerai For Hair:

Boil a handful of leaves in coconut oil or sesame seed oil. Cool it down. Apply on the hair and the scalp thoroughly and leave it for 20 – 30 minutes. Wash your hair.

Doing this once in a week regularly can control dandruff and itchiness in the scalp. Also, improves hair growth.

The word on the benefits of this plant is becoming known to many and is easily available in markets too. But, try growing the plant in your home and use the leaves fresh. Tender leaves and stem taste better as well. The herb requires littleor no maintenance  and can be easily grown at home.

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