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Bhut chaturdoshi and Choddo Shak - 14 Greens ritual

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According to our forefathers this is the time at the end of the monsoons when people should start eating herbs in Bengal. I still wonder how much have we progressed or advanced or modernized from our forefathers. Man has left behind a wonde…

Thankuni Pata Bata and Drink

Thankuni Pata Bata and Drink
Thankuni Pata Bata - Mandukaparni/Brahmi Booti Paste
Centella asiatica Bengali: থানকুনি Thankuni
Sanskrit: Mandukaparni
In Bangladeshi cuisine Thankuni bata is eaten with rice and is popular for its medicinal properties.
s Thankuni Pata Bata recipe mandukaparni brahmi booti Centella asiatica

By Barnali Dutta
Published 12/19/2013

Prep time: 00:10 | Cook time: 00:05 | Total time: 00:15 | Yield: 2 servingsIngredients Ingredients: Thankuni pata/ Centella leaves, 2 bunches about 100 g Green chilies 2 Kalo jeera (onion seeds), 1 tsp Salt to taste Oil 1 tspA pinch of sugar to balance the tasteInstructions: Take the leaves from bunches (you can use whole leaves with stigma). Wash and clean thoroughly and keep in a big bowl of lukewarm water for 5 minutes. Take out leaves from water, do not strain, use your hand and remove leaves from water carefully.Though thankuni is usually not attacked by pets and diseases of serious nature, but this a small,…

Mutton Rezala Recipe

Sabir's Mutton Rezala Recipe Sabir's Mutton Rezala Recipe By , published by Prasadam: October 13, 2014Mutton Rezala with Paratha is the most desirable dish during the festive season of our family due to its comparitively low richness, the fact which has set our mind free to eat sufficient red meat once in a year in the tropical geographical climatic region like Kolkata. The word 'rezala' stands for "khoobsurat" meaning beautiful. In reality the beauty of this highly popular Mughal dish Rezala [lamb or goat meat in a thin yogurt sauce] can only be understood by those who have tasted it from the menu of Sabir's Hotel. This eatery situated at 3 and 5 Biplabi Anukul Chandra Street, Chandni Chowk metro station, kolkata acquainted the Bengali cuisine in the year 1948. Said Sabir Ali from the state of Uttar Pradesh came to Kolkata in search of earnings. While working for a daily meal eatery where he used to make tikia and paratha he conceived th…

Kalmegh Boti

Kalmegh Boti

Kalmegh boti (কালমেঘের বড়ি) Andrographis paniculata pill

By Barnali Dutta Published: December 21, 2013

This plant is known in north-eastern India as Maha-tita, literally "king of bitters".


Kalmegh, is useful in hyperdipsia, burning sensation, wounds, ulcers, chronic fever, malarial and intermittent fevers, inflammations, cough, bronchitis, skin diseases, leprosy, purities, intestinal worms, dyspepsia, flatulence, colic, diarrhea, dysentery, hemorrhoids and vitiated conditions of pita. It is used to overcome sannipata type of fever, difficulty in breathing, thirst, and intestinal worms. It is also useful in treating acidity and liver complaints. In children, decoction of Kiriyath acts as a preventive measure to many illness.

Kalmegh boti

Prep time: 00:30 Cook time: 00:00 Total time: 2 days

Yield: 1 boti per day

Ingredients: To make Kalmegh pills: Wash, clean and collect good leaves with soft stems from the Kalmegh bunches.: take 3 to 4 sticks

Directions: Make a paste of it. Do not put extra water. It should not be watery. To prepare bori, take a clean cheese cloth and cover over an oven-tray or a big bowl. Now take some paste and make soft drops with your fingers. Arrange all drops one by one on the cloth, depositing them to be dried, leave for one to two hot days for sun-drying. It can be collected with a little pat to the cloth after complete dry.

Various vernacular names are 
Sanskrit : Kirita, Kiritaka, Bhuminimba, Kiritatiktaka
Assamese : Chiorta 
Arabic: Quasabhuva 
Marathi: Kadu kirayata, Oli-kiryata 
Oriya: Bhuinimba
Chinese: Chuan Xin Lian 
Persian: Naine-havandi
Gujarati: Kariyatu 
Sanskrit: Kālamegha Bhūnimba, Yavatikta 
Hindi: Kirayat 
Tamil: Nilavembu 
Kannada: Nelabevu 
Malayalam: NilavEpp, Kiriyathth 
Telugu: Nelavemu.
Malay: Hempedu Bumi Bahasa Indonesia: Sambiloto.
Thai: Fa Thalai Chon 'The heavens strike the thieves.' 

Kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata Wall. Acanthaceae family) is the major constituent of the ayurvedic drug 'switradilepa'. It grows abundantly in south eastern Asian countries viz India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Java, Malaysia, and Indonesia as well as it is cultivated extensively in India, China, Thailand, Mauritius, East and West Indies during monsoon season.

The herbal preparation increases hemoglobin content, serum glucose and protein in treatment group. The extracts of kalmegh had antiviral activity and is most effective in treating vitiligo. All current studies could be observed in WHO Monographs on Selected Medicinal Plants - Volume 2.

Diabetic patients are recommended to take decoction of Kiriyath as a good remedy. 

The important preparations using the drug in ayurveda are Tiktakagheta, Gorocandi gulika, Candanasava, Panchatiktam kasaya, etc. Leaves contain two bitter substances lactone “andrographolid” and “kalmeghin”. The ash contains sodium chloride and potassium salts. Plant is very rich in chlorophyte.

According to the Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine, "A specific product (andrographis combined with Eleutherococcus senticosus) may shorten the duration and lesson the symptoms of common cold." It also says, "Pregnant women shouldn't use andrographis because it could terminate pregnancy."

This bitter shrub is well-known in Bengal under the name of kάlmeg and is the principal ingredient of a domestic medicine for infants called A'lui, which referred to is made of the expressed juice of the leaves with the addition of mixing powdered cumin and large cardamom in the juice of this plant and administered for the treatment of malaria and is given to infants for the relief of griping, irregular stools and loss of appetite.
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