Synonyms: Oxalis corymbosea Oxalis martiana,
Common Name: Lilac Oxalis
Local Name: Malora ghaa (मलोरा घा)
Malora ghaa is a perennial, stemless herb arising from basal bulb. It is seen growing in damp shady places along wayside, roadsides and as a weed in gardens and cultivated fields. It is commonly present up to an altitude of 1,000 m in Western Himalaya. Malora ghaa is easily propagated by seeds and grows best in shady moist habitat having loose sandy soil and proper drainage.
Almost all the parts of Malora ghaa viz flowers, leaves, and roots of are edible and eaten both raw or cooked, but this plant should only be eaten in small quantity, because it contains oxalic acid that can lock up other nutrients like calcium. So, it can cause calcium deficiency if eaten in larger amounts. However, oxalic acid effect is neutralised after thorough cooking.
Best way to use edible plant parts of malora ghaa is 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.
Malora ghaa is harvested from wild as a source of food and fodder for local personal use. Sometime it is also grown for its beautiful pink flowers.
Malora ghaa Plant:
Plant is perennial, stemless, pubescent, erect herbs, 15-30 cm tall.
Bulbils are clustered, sheathed in scales. Roots are fibrous.
Leaves radical, trifoliate; leaflets broadly obcordate, notched at the tip; petioles up to30 cm long.
Flowers pale rose, veined with purple, in umbelliform cymes, on 12-30 cm long scapes. Sepals 5, free 4-5 mm long, ovate- elliptic, acute, with two range coloured glands at apex. Petals 5m free, obliquely cuneate, 12-15 mm long. Stamens 10, in two series, alternately long and short; shorter glabrous, not exceeding styles; longer ones 6 mm long, hairy. Ovary oblong, ca 3 mm long, glabrous; styles 5.
Edible leaves and flowers of malora ghaa can be best harvested from spring to pre-summers and roots should be harvested when flowering and fruiting is over that is from autumn to spring season of the year. While, collecting bulb and flowers sustainable harvesting should be done on the basis of habitat rotation.
Edible plant parts of malora ghaa along with other herbs are cooked into a leafy vegetable ‘saag’. Leaves and flowers are good addition to ‘rayata’, ‘chutney’ and salad. Root bulb can be cooked along with leaves or eaten raw. Green leaves are also used to prepare summer refreshing drink.
All parts of malora ghaa and other greens, 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 malora ghaa and other available greens 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.
Malora ghaa leaves and flowers, 200g; mint leaves, 200g; medium sized onion, 2; green chilies, 6-8 and salt and sugar according to taste.
For preparing chutney grind all the ingredients in a mixer grinder and add to it salt and sugar according to taste. Now chutney is ready to serve.
For preparing a kachru, ingredients required are 1kg fresh leaves of malora ghaa, 1/2 kg 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 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.
Refreshing Summer Drink:
Ariel parts of malora ghaa, 250 g; Water, half liter: honey, 1-2 table spoon; mint leaves, 4-6; pinch of salt and black pepper as par choice or taste.
For preparing refreshing summer drink grind leaves in a mixer. Mix it with water and all above ingredients. Keep it overnight in refrigerator before serving. Drink is considered as a cooling agent in full summers.
Green foliage of malora ghaa are grazed by grazing animals. Plant is also grown as a ornamental plant in garden and lawns.