India-Info title

home contact search menu
Follow on
Snippets of Information
Food / Herbs

* 19 Jan 2023
Maddur Vada - Pinterest collection
Maddur Vada (Vade) is a popular snack (crispy fried patties) from Karnataka, originating in Madduru, a town 85 kms south west of Bengaluru.
Main ingredients of Maddur Váda are rice flour, sooji rava and maida. These ingredients are mixed with chopped onions, coriander leaves, green chilies, curry leaves and mixed very well adding warm oil and water. Salt and asafoetida (hing) are added too. Above mix of flour and add-ons is deep fried in boiling oil till the colour turns brown to get crispy and tasty Maddur Váda. Best place to have Maddur Váda is of course the town of Maddur, which falls between Bengaluru and Mysuru.

Maddur Vade was invented by Shri Ramachandra Budhya on a railway platform, way back in 1917! Shri Budhya used to run Vegetarian Refreshment Room (VRR) at Maddur railway station in 1917 to sell pakoras and idlis. To meet customer's demands he tried out this dish which is easy to make and requires less preparation time.

* 18 Jan 2023
Kadamba, Bur flower, Kadam Tree - Pinterest collection
Kadamba, Bur flower, Kadam Tree
The Cadamba is commonly known as “Kadamba” in Sanskrit and Hindi and as “Kodom” in Bengali. It is an evergreen tropical tree found in different parts of India. The species has scented orange flowers present in dense globe-shaped clusters, which are used in the preparation of perfumes. It is an ornamental and shade giving tree that is also used for timber- and paper-making. It has crucial significance in Indian mythology and religion. Various religions in India have strongly believed that God lives inside a Cadamba tree based on its enormous significance to humankind. It has been said in the Sanskrit shloka, “Ayi Jagadamba Mad-Amba Kadamba Vana-Priyavaasini Haasa-Rate,” that is, Goddess Durga likes to live in the forest of Cadamba trees.

Flowering usually begins when the tree is 4-5 years old. The fruits of the Cadamba are small, containing fleshy capsules packed closely together to form a yellow-orange infructescence. The Cadamba has been known to cure a number of diseases; particularly, the extract prepared from the bark and leaves is crucial. Various researchers across the world have focused their studies on discovering a number of phytochemicals as well as secondary metabolites (saponins, indole and quinoline alkaloids, secoiridoids, and triterpenes) with pharmacological significance from the Cadamba.

Astroethnobotanical importance : According to mythology, the whole universe is made of five elements or panchtatva (fire, earth, air, soil, and water), including plants and animals. The vast Sanskrit literature has affirmed that not only human beings but even minute creatures, whether plants, animals, or microorganisms, are under the influence of the forces of the planets. It is believed that each and every person born on Earth belongs to any one of the 27 nakshatras (stars) present in the universe. There are 27 stars, which are correspondingly correlated to 27 trees present on Earth. This correlation signifies that humans are directly related to plants. These 27 celestial plants have the power to fight against the harmful effects of the planets on human lives. Plants and herbs have been found to be extremely effective in neutralizing the detrimental influences of the astral positions of stars. The Cadamba is one of the trees enlisted, which resembles Satabhisha nakshatra. It has been indicated in astrology that humans having Satabhisha as their birth star should plant the Cadamba near their habitats, which would help in curbing mental depression, heart attack, mood swings, laziness, rudeness, etc.

Various parts of the Kadamba tree have been found to have Antihelminthic, Antifungal, Antifilarial, Antimalarial, Antibacterial, Antidiabetic, Antitumor, Analgesic, Anti-inflammatory, Antidiarrheal, Hypolipidemic, Antihepatotoxic, Diuretic and laxative effects.
Source: - Cadamba: A miraculous tree having enormous pharmacological implications by Alka Dwevedi, Kuldeep Sharma, and Yogesh K Sharma

* 18 Jan 2023
Kadamba holds a place in many Indian mythological, folklore, and historical literature. The Kadam tree connects with Lord Krishna, where Radha and Krishna used to love to play under the shade of the hospitable and sweet-scented Kadamba. Krishna also used to perform ‘Raas-Lila’ fascinating flute/Bansuri under the same tree in his younger days.
Bhagavata Purana mentions Kadamba and the Sangam period of Tamil Nadu and cites Murugan [from Thiruparankundram- the Hill of Madurai] as an attraction of nature worship that used to be spear-kind under Kadam.
- This plant also relates to Kadambariyamman [a tree deity].
- Kadamba tree yields fruit in May and is called the May tree.
- The Kadamba dynasty has named Kadamba as a holy tree.
- A yellow dye can be abstracted from the root bark of the Kadamba plant.
- Kadamba flower has multiple uses, including producing a sandalwood-based perfume named attar

* 18 Jan 2023
- The Tiruvilaiyadal Puranam refers to the Madurai city as ‘Kadambavanam’
- Kadamba also gets a place among the 99 flowers listed in Kabilar’s Kurinji pattu .”
- A song in Paripadal - ‘Urul inar kadambu’ - documents the ball-like blossoms of the tree.
- song no199 in Agananuru says how thirsty elephants mistake the soft blossoms falling from the kadamba tree for a fine drizzle and run in joy.
- the tree bears multiple fruit in which many flowers together produce a single fruit with multiple seeds in turn.
- Places such as Kadavur and Kadambur are named after the tree.
- The kadamba tree is associated with Lord Muruga, who’s also called Kadamban
Source:  Where once stood a forest of kadamba trees... by A. Shrikumar,, Dec 7, 2018

* 18 Jan 2023
Madurai city was oncekonw as Kadamba vanam, forest of kadamba trees. Chennai area is also said to have had an abundance of Kadamba trees.
Kadamba tree  is the sthala vruksham of Meenakshi Amman Temple. Kadamba tree can be seen near the West Gopuram of Meenakshi Temple.  A withered relic of this plant is sacredly preserved in the temple area.

* 8 Aug 2022
Ceylon Pasalai - Pinterest collection
Ceylon Pasalai Keerai (Talinum triangulare (Jacq.) Willd) is also known as kuthu pasalai keerai or water leaf. Pasalai keerai is good for oral health. It cures dental problems like pyorrhea by chewing raw. Produces blood cells, prevents throat and lungs cancer, and normalizes magnesium content and stablises mind and body health condition. Good for diabetes. It acts as a agent to destroy the unwanted toxic substances in the stomach and it helps to reduce the blood sugar levels by excess urination.
The magnesium is the needed mineral to maintain the blood sugar level from too much fluctuation. The best medicine for constipation. Helps prevents and cures sexually transmitted infections. It helps to reduce the cholesterol and fat deposits in the valves that pumps the blood all over the body.
Pregnant woman is advised to take for baby’s health and breast feeding. The folate in pasalai keerai enhances the healthy growth of nervous system, lungs growth in the fetus.
Source: fb-asucrepureherbals / /

* 30 May 2022
basil - Pinterest collection
In different parts of the world, several types of basil are cultivated, some of the widely used varieties can be categorized in two groups - holy basil (ocimum sanctum) and mediterranean basil (ocimum basilicum).
Holy basil
It is known as Tulsi and is the most revered houseplant, in India it is associated with ayurveda and hindu religion as goddess of wealth, health and prosperity. The plants have strong medicinal properties compared to second group species. There are several varieties popular based on the regional religious beliefs which are known by a several vernacular and common names such as in Sanskrit it is named as Rama Tulsi and Krishna Tulsi, in Malayalam it is called Trittavu, in Marathi as Tulshi, Tulasi in Tamil, Thulsi in Telugu and Holy Basil in English. Not to be confused with Ocimum Tenuiflorum, it is a synonym for Ocimum Sanctum. There 4 species popular of Holy basil:
1. Rama tulsi (ocimum sanctum)
2. Krishna tulsi (ocimum tenuiflorum)
3. Amrita tulsi (ocimum tenuiflorum)
4. Vana tulsi (ocimum gratissum)

Mediterranean basil
It is known as Sweet basil and is the most popular variety of basil which is found all over the world including Asia, Eurpe, America and Africa. It is most consumed herb world wide and known by several common names such as king of herbs, royal herb, great basil and Saint-Joseph’s-wort etc, it is used in culinary preparations and used in several types of popular cuisines like Italian, Thai etc.
5. Sweet basil (ocimum basilicum)
6. Thai basil (ocimum thyrsiflora)
7. Purple basil (ocimum basilicum)
8. Lemon basil (ocimum citriodorum)
9. Vietnamese basil (ocimum cinnamon)
10. American basil (ocimum americanum)
11. African blue basil (ocimum kilimandscharicum)
12. Italian genovese basil (ocimum basilicum)
13. Lettuce basil
14. Green ruffles basil
15. Cardinal basil
16. Greek basil
17. Spicy globe basil
18. Summer long basil

* 25 Aug 2021
Tulsi plant or Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum)
Tulsi plant or Holy basil - Pinterest collection
Tulsi is considered sacred and most Hindu households with a backyard have a Tulai Maadam and offer daily prayers.  It also has great medicianal value.
Green type (Sri Tulsi) and Purple type (Krishna Tulsi).

Tulsi has been used in Ayurveda for its diverse healing properties. Tulsi, the Queen of herbs, the legendary 'Incomparable one' of India, is one of the holiest and most cherished. The sacred basil, Tulsi, is renowned for its religious and spiritual sanctity, as well as for its important role in the traditional Ayurvedic and Unani system of holistic health and herbal medicine of the East. It is mentioned by Charaka in the Charaka Samhita; an Ayurvedic text. Tulsi is considered to be an adaptogen, balancing different processes in the body, and helpful for adapting to stress. Marked by its strong aroma and astringent taste, it is regarded in Ayurveda as a kind of 'elixir of life' and believed to promote longevity. Tulsi extracts are used in Ayurvedic remedies for common colds, headaches, stomach disorders, inflammation, heart disease, various forms of poisoning and malaria and is taken in many forms, as herbal tea, dried power or fresh leaf. For centuries, the dried leaves of Tulsi have been mixed with stored grains to repel insects.

* 2 Dec 2021
Nakul Dana
Nakul Dana
These sugar balls distributed as prasad in several temples is also known as Sakariya, Chironji Dana, Elaichi Dana or Mimosa sugar balls.
A centrifuge machine is used to transform sugar syrup into balls. They can be used in several recipes as alternate to sugar and also for decorating.
Source:, image - youtube

* 17 Nov 2021
Udupi hotels
This is not a chain of restaurants owned by any single person or institution.
Sri Krishna temple in Udupi was founded by Shri Madhvacharya, proponent of the Dvaita (dualism) school of Vedanta in the 13th century.  At this temple, annadhanam was a regular practice. The cooks who were very particular in their hygiene and cooking process, in course of time moved to different parts of the country such as Chennai, Mumbai and opened up hotels, which came to be known as Udupi hotels.  They had several specialised recipes but the most popular dishes are their masla dosas, vadas and unique sambar.

* 1 Oct 2021
Mangoes in minatures - Pinterest collection
"More than just a fruit, mangoes are revealed as a symbol of fertility and picking them from trees as the ultimate princely pastime. "The sweet and delicious mango has always been the favourite fruit in history, as it is now. Shah Jahan had his mangoes from the Konkan coast couriered regularly to the imperial kitchens in Delhi while his grandfather Akbar had a mango grove, Laakhibagh in Darbhanga specially planted with a hundred thousand choice mango trees," note the creators of Arts of Hindostan, as they put together a selection of artworks from Mughal Lucknow and Farrukhabad schools, the Rajput schools at Bundi and Bikaner, the early Deccan school at Golconda and the Company School at Calcutta, spread across three centuries."

* 1-2 Sep 2021
Mango varieties in India
Mango varieties - Pinterest collection

Alphonsos, Amrapali, Badami, Banganapalli,  Bombay Green mangoes,  Chausa,  Dashehari,  Fazli,   Gulab Khaas,  Hapus,  Himsagar,  Imam Pasand,  Kalapadi,  Kesar,  Kilichundan, Lakshmanbhog, Langra,  Malda,  Mallika,  Mankurad,  Mulgova,  Neelam,  Paheri/Pairi,  Raspuri,  Ratnagiri,  Rumani,  Safeda,  Sindhura, Totapuri,  Vanraj.
More details on region and quality
Source: ; ; ;

* Jul 2021
Herbs associated with the Pancha Boothams
Land (Nilam in Tamil) - Arugampul (arugam grass)
Water (Neer in Tamil) - Maavilai (mango leaf)
Fire (Neruppu in Tamil) - Vaazhai ilai (banana leaf)
Wind (katru in Tamil) - Vepilai (neem leaf)
Sky (Agaayam in Tamil) - Vetrilai (Paan leaf)

* Jul 2021
Amla is Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalis) (Nellikai, nellikani in Tamil), a fruit found mainly in India. It is a greenish yellow fibrous fruit about an inch or two in diameter, round shaped with vertical stripes. It simultaneously tastes sweet & sour. It is rich in natural vitamin C. It is used in making ayurvedic medicines, tonics for it has several positive qualities - cooling, diuretic and laxative properties, strengthens teeth and bones, antioxidant and antibacterial properties. It aids in maintaining clear skin & healthy growth of hair. It is eaten raw with salt and is also used to make pickles.

* Jul 2021
Mango Day
The U.S. India Business Council in Washington, D.C. played host to the first-ever 'Mango Day' celebrations on the arrival of Indian mangoes to the U.S., after a gap of 18 years. The first mangoes arrived at the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. But the big welcome party occurred in the nation's capital.

Jul 2021
Condiments and Nuts
English Tamil
Aniseed Sombu
Asafoetida Perungayam
Almonds Badam Parappu
Arrow Root Koovak Kilangu
Bay Leaf Punnai Ilai
Black Pepper Milagu
Cardamom Yelakkai
Cinnamom Pattai
Cloves Lavangam
Coriander Seeds Vara Kothamali
Cumin Seeds Jeeragam
Curry Leaves Kariveppilai
Cashew Nuts Mundhiri
Dry Ginger Sukku
Femmel Perunjeeragam
Feenugreek Vendhayam
Garlic Vellai Poondu
Ginger Ingi
Groundnuts / Peanuts Verkadalai
Jaggery Vellam
Lemon Rind Yelumichai Thol
Mace Jadhipathiri
Mango Powder Mangai Podi
Mustard Kadugu
Nutmeg Jadhikkai
Poppy Seeds Kasa Kasa
Roasted Gram Pottu Kadali
Red Chillies Sigappu Milagai
Raisins Ularndha Dhirakshai
Rice Flakes Arisi Avial
Sesame Seeds Ellu
Saffron Kungumapoo
Sugar Candy Kalkandu
Tamrind Puli
Turmeric Powder Manjal Podi
Tymol Seeds Omam

* Jul 2021
Jhavvaadhu powder is a perfume made out of a blend of sandal wood powder, sandal wood oil and floral extracts.