Purslane ( Portulaca oleracea)

This weed with thick teardrop shaped leaves is a cross between spinach and bhindi. It has a mild taste and can be used in salads. It has the highest naturally occurring level of Omega 3 in plants. Purslane is regarded as a superfood because it is a source of abundant nutrients. This superfood can be pickled, used in stews and in dal. However, it contains more oxalic acid than spinach, so avoid it if you suffer from kidney problems or urinary tract stones.

Gangavalli Kura Pachadi ( Granny’s recipe of Purslane Chutney)

3 cups purslane leaves washed and chopped

3-4 dry red chillies( or to taste)

1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

5-6 cloves of garlic

½ inch ginger

2 Tbsp peanuts

Tamarind ( small piece of tamarind soaked in water and juice extracted)

2 tsp jaggery or 1 tsp sugar

1 tsp oil

Salt and pepper to taste

For Tadka

2 tsp oil

2 tsp Jeera

2 cloves of garlic crushed

½ tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp urad dal

½ tsp turmeric ( haldi)

¼ tsp Hing ( optional)

A few curry leaves

Heat oil in a kadai, add peanuts and fry for a minute. Add jeera, chillies and garlic and fry for a further minute. Add the Purslane leaves and fry until the leaves change colour. Transfer the ingredients to a grinder, add ginger, jaggery, salt, pepper and tamarind juice. Blend until a smooth paste. Add a little water if required. For the tadka heat oil in a pan and add in order jeera, mustard seeds, urad dal, turmeric, hing, curry leaves and lastly garlic. Fry for a minute and then add to the chutney.