Synonyms: Rumex dissectus
Local name: Khat malori (खट मलोरी), Aambi.
Khat malori is perennial herb. Plant found growing in Western Himalayas upto an elevation of 2300 metres above sea level. It is very hardy plant and can grow even on poorest soils and from the crevices of stone retaining walls on mountain roads.
The leaves of this plant contain oxalic acid which impart it a pleasant sour taste.
Khat maloree leaves are cooked and made into a saag. Due to their pleasant sour taste, these leaves serve as an ingredient of chutney and pickles.
It is said that khat malori saag should not be eaten in large amounts since the oxalic acid can lock-up other nutrients in the food, especially calcium, thus causing mineral deficiencies. However, it is perfect in smaller quantities.
Best way to use Khat-malori is to use its leaves by mixing these along with other available greens of the season and then cook as a leafy vegetable ‘saag’. This was a very common traditional practice in villages where women used to collect more than 70 herbs which includes both cultivated and wild depending upon their availability and then cook these into leafy vegetable ‘saag’ once in a week.. In this way they use almost all medicinally important edible plants in moderation without having any side effects. This practice of including many nutritionally rich medicinal food plants in the food plate was very helpful to maintain good health of all the family members. But due to westernization, urbanization and modernization, there is a sharp decline of traditional knowledge and practice among younger generation. As a result, this practice is losing ground and at present only very few women living in villages practice it.
People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition 1.
Khat malori plant:
A bushy shrub or undershrub, 30-90 cm high mostly occurring on dry rocks and hillocks; branches numerous, slender erect.
Leaves stalked, entire, broadly triangular, long pointed, 2.5-6 x 2-5 cm or hastately 3- lobed, the lobes narrow or almost linear.
Flowers polygamous, in small whorls racemed and forming panicles, pink or green tinged with pink, fruiting sepals orbicular, pink, not fringed, notched at both ends.
Nut small, trigonous.
In Himalayas, khat malori is eaten raw, sometimes cooked as a leafy vegetable but frequently used in the form of chutney. Young leaves and tender terminals are the most suitable for this purpose. Most common preparation from khat malori is saag which can be prepared by following below given recipe, however kachru is also prepared sometimes .Khat malori leaves are mostly preferred in summers for its cooling effect and added in many recipe to give acidic flavor.
Chopped leaves and tender tips, 1 kg; mustard oil, 3-4 table spoons; coriander powder, 1 table spoon; fenugreek powder, ½ table spoon; cumin seed, 1 tea spoon; turmeric powder, 1 table spoon; red chilies, 2-3; chopped medium sized onions 2-4; garlic, 4-5 cloves; ginger paste ½ table spoon; boiled potatoes and salt, according to taste.
Boil chopped leaves and tender tips till they are soft. Then mesh manually or in a mixer. Then sauté with hot mustard oil and the spices listed before in sequence. This sauted saag is then ready and can be served as such or can be mixed with 2 or 3 chopped onions or boiled potatoes and cooked for another 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Aalu Khat-malori mdhra ( मधरा):
Ground leaves and tender tips of Khat – malori plant, 100g -200g; chopped potatoes in cubical shape, 1 kg: mustard oil, 3-4 table spoons; coriander powder, 1 table spoon; fenugreek powder, ½ table spoon; cumin seed, 1 tea spoon; turmeric powder, 1 table spoon; red chilies , 2-3; chopped medium sized onions 2-4; garlic, 4-5 cloves; ginger paste ½ table spoon; meshed tomatoes, 3-4; milk cream, 2-3 spoon, and salt, according to taste.
In hot mustard oil shallow fry spices spices listed above in a sequence. Add meshed tomatoes, milk cream, ground khat- malori leave paste and saute for one minute,Now add chopped potato pieces and again saute for 2-3 minutes in slow flame. Then add 3-4 medium sized glass of water and cook till potato pieces are soft enough to eat. Add 1/4 spoon of garam masala to it and serve with rice or chapatis.
For preparing chutney grind khat malori leaves and tender tips, 200g; mint leaves, 200g; medium sized onion, 2; green chillies, 6-8 in a mixer grinder and add to this salt according to taste. Now chutney is ready to serve.
for preparing a kachru, ingredients required are fresh leaves of khat malori plant, 1/2kg;500 gm besan (black gram powder) or corn flour. 1 cup amount fresh coriander leaves,1/2 table spoon ajwain, 3-5 green chillies, ½ table spoon turmeric powder, 2-3 chopped onions and salt according to taste.
Make a paste of chopped green leaves, besan or corn flour and spices. Heat some oil on a flat heating pan. Put this paste over a pan and cook for 15 to 20 minutes then kachru will be ready to serve.
Seek advice from a professional before using this plant medicinally.
Fresh or dried leaves are astringent, diuretic, laxative and refrigerant. They are used to make a cooling drink in the treatment of fevers and are especially useful in the treatment of scurvy. The leaf juice, mixed with fumitory, has been used as a cure for itchy skin and ringworm. An infusion of the root is astringent, diuretic and haemostatic. It has been used in the treatment of jaundice, gravel and kidney stones. Both the roots and the seeds have been used to stem haemorrhages. A paste of the root is applied to set dislocated bones. The plant is depurative and stomachic. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. It is used in the treatment of spasms and skin ailments
Seeds are considered as an anthelmintic and in powdered form used to cure eye diseases, vision problems and eyesight weakness.
The whole plant, used in the fresh state, is diaphoretic, diuretic and refrigerant.
A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of fevers, inflammation and scurvy.
The leaf juice is useful in the treatment of urinary and kidney diseases.
A tea made from the roots is astringent and is used in the treatment of diarrhea and excessive menstrual bleeding.
Livestock will graze on the plant, but it is not very nutritious and is toxic in large amounts because of oxalates.
- Bown. D. (1995): Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN,0-7513-020-31.