This pretty looking weed arrived in my mint plant all by itself. It was growing in many pots. Seeing that it had occupied all the space in my mint pot, I weeded it out. It looked so healthy and luscious that I almost felt sad pulling it out and wondered if it could be eaten. So I took this picture and posted it in a gardening group to see if anyone could identify it and sure enough, it came out to be purslane or ‘kulfa saag’ – a wild uncultivated plant that is supposed to be quite nutritious.
Imagine my surprise when I found that it has the highest Omega 3 found in a plant and even more than some fish varieties. it is low in calories and high in vital nutrients like Vitamin A, the highest in any green vegetables. It is also a good source of Vit C, B complex and some minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium and manganese. It also contains some important anti-oxidants.
My Bengali maid knew all about it and said they eat it often in their village. She chopped it up for us and my sister who is good with cooking saags made it simply with onions, garlic, salt and a few drops of mustard oil. It had a natural sourness and a delicious creamy flavour. If you google for recipes, you will be taken to Pakistani websites. Apparently, it is quite a popular dish over there. Look at all the pretty colours in tis saag.
Purslane is a hardy plant which can grow in any kind of soil condition and is drought resistant. The only problem is that if it goes to seed in your garden, it will spread everywhere. So either have a large appetite for it or start weeding it if you get tired of eating it.
One of my gardening friends told me that it is considered among the top 2 most nutritious weeds on the planet! Wow that’s quite an achievement for something that arrived by itself on my 16th floor terrace garden. Definitely an offering from the Gods. Let me know if you cook it and if you like it. And if you are already familiar with it, then please share your favourite recipes.
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