Saturday, 27 August 2016





          Asiatic Pennywort or Centella Asiatica is a perennial herbaceous plant that grows in damp soils. It multiplies fast by way of runners, rooting and producing plants in a chain-like fashion, particularly during the rainy season.

Known as Ekpanni in Konkani, Muthil, Kudavan, Kudangal in Malayalam, Vallarai in Tamil, Jal Brahmi in Marathi and Mandook Parni in Hindi, this herb has been used since time immemorial in Asiatic cuisine as it is believed that it improves memory, stimulates hair growth, retains youth, helps have a wrinkle-free skin and builds strong bones and teeth.

          However, care should be taken to see that only plants growing in pure soils are collected for cooking. This is due to the fact that this wonder plant has the ability to absorb pollutants such as pesticides, weedicides, chemical fertilizers or heavy metals from the soil. You can easily grow your own pennywort plants outdoors in your garden or in pots or trays organically in warm climes or in a greenhouse as they are frost tender.

          The Konkani people traditionally make Ekpanni chutney as a delicious side dish to idlis, dosas, chappatis and vadas. You can make delicious Ekpanni chutney sandwiches or just enjoy Ekpanni chutney with mushroom samosas or with kappa bonda.

Ekpanni Chutney with Kappa Bonda


     1)    Ekpanni (Asiatic pennywort / Jal Brahmi / Mandook Parni / Gotu Kola / Muthil / Kudavan / Kudangal / Vallarai / Centella Asiatica) leaves – 20 gm.

 Freshly plucked Ekpanni leaves

     2)    Grated coconut – 140 gm.
     3)    Hot green chilies – 10 gm.
     4)    Salt – 5 gm. (1 teaspoon)
     5)    Lime / lemon juice – 10 ml. (2 teaspoons)
     6)    Water – 70 ml.

To make:

          Wash and drain the Ekpanni leaves. Put the grated coconut, the hot green chilies, the salt and the water into a food processor and grind to superfine paste. Add the leaves and the lime juice and grind for 10 more seconds. Transfer your delicious Ekpanni chutney to a serving bowl and enjoy!


          You can use more lime / lemon juice if you wish, reducing the water proportionately.

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