A Culinary Journey Back in Time

In the vibrant tapestry of Tamil Nadu’s culinary heritage, there exists a kaleidoscope of greens that have stood the test of time, yet have been overshadowed by more mainstream ingredients. These forgotten greens, once staples in traditional households are now experiencing a revival, thanks to a growing appreciation for local, sustainable foods.

Conducted by Shruti Tarayil, a researcher passionate about preserving culinary traditions, this workshop aims to delve deeper into the verdant world of Tamil Nadu’s forgotten greens, each offering a unique flavour profile and a treasure trove of health benefits.

Arai Keerai (Amaranth Greens): Characterized by its striking red stems and leaves,

Arai Keerai is a nutritional powerhouse. Packed with iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C, this green not only tantalizes the taste buds but also nourishes the body.

Mulai Keerai (Amaranth Tender Greens): The tender shoots of the amaranth plant, known as mulai keerai, are delicate in texture and mild in flavour. Ideal for salads or stir-fries, these greens offer a refreshing twist to your culinary repertoire.

Pasalai Keerai (Spinach): While spinach is a household name, pasalai keerai, the Tamil Nadu variant, boasts its unique charm. Rich in iron, it is a popular choice for traditional dishes like keerai kootu and keerai masiyal.

Mudakkathan Keerai (Balloon Vine Leaves): Renowned for its medicinal properties, mudakkathan keerai is believed to possess anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, making it a valuable addition to any diet.

Siru Keerai (Tropical Chickweed): Small yet mighty, siru keerai is easy to digest and is

a common ingredient in South Indian cuisine. Whether in adai or keerai poriyal, this green adds a burst of flavour to any dish.

Manathakkali Keerai (Black Nightshade): Despite its name, Manathakkali Keerai is not related to the nightshade family. Its tangy flavour is a delightful addition to traditional dishes, lending them a unique taste.

Ponnanganni Keerai (Dwarf Copperleaf): Known for its cooling properties, Ponnanganni Keerai is a popular choice during the summer months. It is believed to offer several health benefits, making it a valuable addition to any diet.

 Thoothuvalai Keerai (Solanum Trilobatum): A wild green with medicinal properties, thoothuvalai keerai is known for its soothing effect on the throat. It is often used in home remedies and is a testament to the rich traditional knowledge of our ancestors.

As we reacquaint ourselves with these forgotten greens, we not only enrich our palates but also reconnect with our cultural heritage. These greens are a testament to the wisdom of our ancestors, who understood the importance of nourishing the body with locally sourced, nutrient-rich foods.

Join us for a workshop on May 11, conducted by Shruti Tarayil, and explore the flavours and stories behind these greens. Embark on a culinary adventure that honours Tamil Nadu’s rich culinary legacy and learn how these greens can be incorporated into modern cooking to create flavourful, nutritious dishes that pay homage to the past.