Kodasige or Kodagasana is commonly referred as Kutaja (Sanskrit), a well-known medicinal plant majorly used in the treatment of diarrhoea, amoebic dysentery and other gastrointestinal conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. It relieves the pain associated with the digestive system disorders. Kutaja/ Kurchi (English) is a flowering plant native to Africa & Indian subcontinent grows well in the hilly forest areas all over India. They are usually found as large shrubs or soft trees.The plant is scientifically named as Holarrhena antidysenterica or Holarrhena Pubescens.
All the parts of this plant such as bark, leaves, flowers & fruits bear medicinal properties making it a powerful herb. The white fragrant and beautiful flowers resemble jasmine. The tambuli prepared by the dried flowers of Kutaja plant is being served to the new mothers for ages in the parts of south canara. It is considered as a postnatal food as it aids digestion!
I remember as kids we used to collect these seasonal flowers during summer vacation and grandma used to store them after drying under sun. The flowers used in tambulis or as flavouring agents in curries. The beans of these plants are also used as vegetables to prepare curries/ gojju.
Found the flowers recently in our native place when we were on vacation. Thanks to all my lovely family members for helping me to collect them! Special thanks to my mother-in-law for the preparation of this tambuli.
(1) Fresh flowers
(2) Dried flowers
Look here for the recipe to prepare tambuli from the scratch. It tastes slightly bitter and works as an appetizer.
Preparation time: 1-2 days (Drying time)
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes
Fresh Kutaja flowers – 2 bunches/ handful
Fresh grated coconut – ¼ cup
Fresh buttermilk – 1 cup
Salt – to taste
Pepper – 4-6 seeds
Coconut oil – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
- Collect the flowers plucking from the stem, clean and wash in running water.
- Dry under sun for couple of days until flowers turn brown and become crisp. One can use an oven to dry. These dried flowers can be stored for 6 months to an year in airtight container.
- Take 2-3 tbsp of dried flower in a pan, add few drops of oil and fry for 1-2 minutes in low flame. Care to be taken in order to avoid burning.
- Take the fried flower, grated coconut & pepper in a mixer jar. Grind to smooth paste.
- Transfer to the serving bowl, add salt and buttermilk. Mix well.
- In a tempering/ tadka pan, heat mustard and curry leaves with coconut oil. On spluttering add it to the tambuli.
- Serve this with rice and other side dishes.
Note: It is suggested to boil the tambuli if to be served to the new mother. This process of boiling is followed in our region and my mother suggests it.