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"Narvalo/Nerugalu Soppu: Exploring the Health and Culinary Delights of a Green Superfood!"


This is a perennial plant that grows to a height of about six feet. Although it may seem ordinary to look at, its uses are quite impressive. It is known as "Sahana Kantabailu" in Kannada. It is also called "Nerval" and "Agnimantha" in Sanskrit. In botanical terms, it is referred to as "Premna integrifolia" and belongs to the Verbenaceae family.

The leaves of this plant are rich in proteins, minerals, and nutrients. It has a sweet fragrance similar to curry leaves and is often used in cooking. Its extract enhances the flavor of dishes like rasam, sambar, and chutney. It can also be used to make chutney powder, tambuli, roti, dosa, pakoda, and chapati.


The small and attractive leaves of this plant are soft and delicate. It can be grown in various types of soil and is commonly found in Karavali and Malenadu regions. It is often used to create hedges and fences. Due to the space constraints in cities, it can also be planted in pots. By filling the pot with a mixture of soil, compost, and sand, the plant can thrive with just two waterings per week. It is resistant to pest attacks.

The plant possesses medicinal properties as well and is used in the preparation of Dashamoola Arishta, a traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Its decoction is known to have fever-reducing properties. However, this plant is rare to find these days.

People use it for domestic purposes as well as in cooking. By boiling a handful of its leaves, a pinch of salt, and a teaspoon of turmeric powder in one liter of water, a flavorful and healthy drink called "tambuli" is prepared. It can also be consumed as a soup. It is considered an excellent remedy for indigestion, vomiting, and internal fever.

Narvalo/Nerugalu Soppu dosa recepie

Ingredients:

  • Idli rice - 2 cups (soaked in water for 3 hours)
  • Narvale/Balloon leaves - 2 cups (washed)
  • Poha - 1 cup (soaked while grinding rice)
  • Fresh coconut - 1 cup
  • Jaggery - 1 cup (adjust according to desired sweetness)
  • Salt to taste
  • Water
  • Yeast/toddy (optional)
  • Ghee or oil (for cooking)

Method:

1. Clean the rice and soak it for 5 hours. Soak the poha while grinding the rice and add it to the mixture later.

2.  Grind the soaked rice, coconut, poha, jaggery, and narvele leaves together with sufficient water and salt to taste. Ensure that the batter is thick, similar to other dosa batter.

3.    Mix all the ingredients thoroughly.

4.  Keep the batter for fermentation for about 8-10 hours. Since you didn't add yeast or toddy, it may take 10 hours to ferment. Adjust the time according to the desired level of fermentation.

5.   Heat a pan on medium flame and apply ghee or oil to the pan.

6.  Take a ladleful of batter and pour it onto the pan. Cover the dosa and let it fry for 3-4 minutes.

7.     If needed, flip the dosa and cook it on a slow fire for some more time.

8.     Once the dosa is cooked and golden brown, remove it from the pan.

9.     Repeat the process with the remaining batter.

10. Serve the hot Narvale Dosa and enjoy!

Remember, the recipe can be adjusted to suit your preferences.

 

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