Pennywort is a bitter herb that strengthens the nervous system. This is a recipe for memory boosting Indian pennywort chutney (வல்லாரை கீரை சட்னி – ஞாபக சக்தியை அதிகரிக்க).
Pennywort is believed to be a memory booster. It is probably the most favorite herb of Indian parents who are guilty of demanding that their kids must score 100% in every exam. :)
This is a bitter herb so we use other ingredients to mask the taste. Remove the stalk from the leaves.
You can use the stalk if you like bitter herbs like fenugreek leaves and vegetables like bitter gourd. I am leaving a small stalk. If you are going to feed it to fussy kids, use only the leaves.
Wash thoroughly in a big vessel till all dirt and sand is removed.
Peel and chop shallots (small onions)
I have used split Bengal gram (Chana dal), split black gram (Urad dal) and peanuts. You can use all 3 of them or just one of them. These will give a coarse texture to the chutney and also increase the taste and protein content.
Shredded or sliced coconut
Method for making Pennywort Chutney
Dry roast the 3 dals one by one for a few minutes till they are crunchy and not soft. Roasting will cook the dals or chutney will have raw smell. So make sure they are all cooked properly. Dont fry all of them at the same time as some dals will get roasted faster than the others.
Set them aside.
Heat oil in a vessel and fry cumin seeds.
Then add onions and garlic and green chili one by one.
When onions are cooked, add salt and asafoetida powder (hing). Salt can be added later so add less now.
Add the roasted dals and peanuts.
Finally add the pennywort leaves.
The volume of the leaves will shrink a lot.
Switch off the stove and add coconut. This heat is enough for the coconut.
Cool everything and then blend in a blender without water.
Water from coconut, onions and the leaves will be enough. If necessary, just sprinkle a little water.
Serve with rice or roti as a spread.
- Adding tamarind to this chutney is not advisable as it will negate the good properties of pennywort
- Shelf life of this chutney is less so refrigerate immediately and consume it within 2 days.
- Just because it is good for memory, it does not mean that it has to be consumed daily. Moderation is key. Consuming this twice a month is more than enough.