Tender betel leaves play a significant role in Hindu rituals. A sheaf of betel leaves is offered in the form of ‘tamboolam’ as a part of festive celebrations.

And, if you have received lots of betel leaves this Dasara Navaratri and wondering what to do with it, we bring you amazing recipes that can be whipped in a jiffy with these tender leaves.

Betel leaves are loaded with a rich nutrient profile including vitamins B, C and calcium providing you with impressive health benefits.

Betel Leaves Rasam / Vethalai Rasam Recipe

Betel leaves rasam is a healthy rasam or soup that occupies an important place in the list of rasam varieties. A must-try healthy rasam variety especially in monsoons for treating chest congestion, cold and cough.

Ingredients

3 cups of water

2 medium-sized tender betel leaves

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp jeera powder

6 flakes garlic

6 shallots/small onions

1 medium-sized tomato

1/4 tsp black pepper powder

A small lemon-ball-sized tamarind

2 sprigs curry leaves

¼ tsp hing / asafoetida

1 tbsp oil or ghee

Salt to taste

Method

Soak tamarind in the water for a few minutes and extract juice. Set aside.

Grind garlic and shallots together in a mixer.

In a sauce pan heat oil, add mustard seeds, when they pop, add crushed garlic-shallot paste along with hing and fry for few seconds.

Now add pepper powder, turmeric and jeera powder and fry for few seconds.

Add chopped tomatoes, tamarind water, salt and curry leaves and boil for 5 minutes.

Finally add chopped betel leaves, switch off the flame.

Serve hot with rice

Note:  Don’t garnish this rasam with coriander leaves because that may overpower the flavour of the betel leaves.

Betel Leaves Rice / Vethalai Rice

Betel leaves rice is a delicious rice variety with unique flavour, aroma and extremely healthy. Betel leaves aid in digestion and provide relief from common cold. Try this aromatic and yummy rice preparation and reap its benefits.

Ingredients

1 cup raw rice

6 finely chopped betel leaves

½ cup grated coconut

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp bengal gram dal

1 tsp urad dal

2 red chillies

1 finely chopped green chillies

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 sprig curry leaves

½ tsp hing

10 peanuts

Salt to taste

1 tsp gingelly oil

Method

Pressure cook 1 cup of raw rice with 2 and ¼ cups of water. Spread cooked rice in a plate and keep it aside.

In a pan heat oil, add mustard seeds, when it crackles add bengal gram dal, urad dal, peanuts, red chillies and fry it. Add green chillies, ginger, hing, and curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds.

Lower the flame add chopped betel leaves, turmeric powder, grated coconut and sauté for a minute.

Add cooked rice, salt and mix well.

Serve it warm with papad or raita.