INTRODUCTION TO LESSER KNOWN
VEGETABLES AND FRUIT SPECIES OF KERALA
Common Name: - Indian Spinach (Malabar Spinach)
Botanic Name:- Baslla alba.
Malayalam Name:- Vashala Cheera.
Indian spinach (Malabar spinach) is a Perennial, fast-growing, soft-stemmed climbing vine, can often be found climbing walls or fences . It is entirely different from “real" spinach because it belongs to a different plant family. But when cooked it looks and tastes similar to true spinach. Its leaves are Green, thick and semi-succulent. The stalks are green or purple in colour.
Nutritional Value (per 100g food) :-
Energy :275 Calories.
Protein : 20g.
Carbohydrate : 54g.
Fiber : 9g.
Calcium : 300mg.
Vit. A : 50mg.
Vit. B1 : 0.7mg.
Vit.B2 : 1.8 mg.
Vit. C : 1200mg.
Leaves and stem tips of Indian spinach is used for cooking. It is usually cooked and eaten as a vegetable just like true spinach. It can be combined in many different vegetable dishes, and is sometimes even eaten raw in salads.
Medicinal Value :-
Paste of the leaves are used for treating boils.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained but moist soil. It cannot grow in the shade. Raw seeds or stem are used for cultivation.