Agathi Keerai or Sesbania Grandiflora leaves are traditionally used in India for both culinary and therapeutic purposes. Agathi is referred in Ayurveda for its beneficial effects on multiple body systems such as immune system, respiratory system, metabolism, and eliminatory systems.
Agathi Keerai is one of the richest sources of Calcium and Phosphorus together for healthy bones and skeletal system. For its high concentration of active compounds, Agathi leaves provide ample nutrition and health benefits that go a long way in your physical and mental upkeep.
Agathi Keerai refers to the green leaves of the Sesbania Grandiflora plant. Since the plant grows well in warm and humid climates, it is usually found in abundance in Southern and Eastern parts of India. The leaves, flowers, seeds, and pods, of the plant are used in traditional Indian recipes.
Agathi Keerai – Selection and Storage
To choose Agathi leaves, go for young leaves that are green with varying shades. Discard yellow or spoiled leaves. It is very easy to separate the leaves from the twigs and they come off with a slight pull.
Usually young fresh leaves can be stored in refrigerator for 3-4 days without spoiling them. Alternatively, the leaves can be sun dried and stored in air tight container for long time, for use in teas or to be sprinkled over dishes.
Agathi Keerai Recipes
With each region adding local ingredients to their preparations, we can find multiple variations of Agathi Keerai in India. This recipe comes from Southern India, where coconut is widely grown.
Agathi leaves are usually bitter and astringent in taste. Hence, adding coconut not only counters the bitterness, it also gives a nice aromatic taste that comes after blending the two ingredients. Coconut also adds creaminess to the crunchy texture of the leaves.
Coconut Stir Fry Recipe
This recipe is highly nutritious and recommended for Vata Dosha and Kapha Dosha related health disorders such as bone health, osteoporosis, pain, Arthritis, Menopause, Menstrual Disorders, Fever, Infections, Diabetes, fatty liver , Ulcers, Hypertension, and vision related disorders. Consuming Agathi leaves or flowers once or twice a week would support the health in above condition.
This recipe should be consumed in moderation, once a month during pregnancy, lactation, and for Pitta Dosha disorders such as skin diseases.
Since Agathi keerai is bitter in taste, it should be introduced in smaller quantities to children to initiate their liking and acceptance of the taste. However, for its ample health benefits and nutrition, it is highly recommended for children, at least once a week.
List of Ingredients – Serves 2-3 persons
- Agathi Keerai – 3 to 4 medium sized twigs, approximately 300 g
- Freshly grated coconut – 3-4 table spoons. Coconut can also be replaced with coconut milk, around 3-4 tablespoons.
- Salt to taste
- 4 – 5 cloves of Garlic
- 1 Medium sized Onion
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- 1 red dried Chilli (optional)
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil or ghee or olive oil
Method of Preparation – Time of Cooking 15 mins
- Separate the leaves. Wash them and finely chop (optional step for small children). We made without chopping.
- Finely chop the garlic and onion.
- Heat the pan and add oil.
- Add mustard seeds. Let the seeds splutter.
- Add garlic and onion. Stir-fry till the mix turns golden brown.
- Add salt, turmeric, and coriander powder. Mix for 1 – 2 mins.
- Add coconut and Agathi leaves. Mix well and put the heat on low.
- Cover and let the mix cook for another 10 mins or till the leaves wilt down nicely.
- Serve with steamed rice or chapati! Enjoy!