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Indian Herbs

curry leaves or kadipata or karbeo
Herbs are those plants which are either decorative, fragrant, medicinal or culinary.  The seed plants of which the stems do not become woody, but remains more or less soft.  But this definition excludes some like the fragrant Curry Leaves - which is a woody tree and not a soft shrub or herb.
Cilantro, Mint and Kasoori Methi are the most widely used herbs in Indian Cuisine.

Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)
Also known as Coriander or Chinese Parsley.  Hara Dhaniya or Dhaniya in Hindi.  An annual herb growing from seeds.  This plant is both an herb and a spice.  Fresh leaves are the herb and its seeds are used as a spice.  Coriander seeds are an indispensable part of the spice combination known as Curry Powder.
coriander or Cilantro or Kothimbir
In India, the plant is said to cool hot stomach, banish gas and aid digestion.  Also used in Mexican, Thai, Moroccan, Spanish and African Cuisines.

Mint (Mentha)
Pudina in Hindi.  An aromatic perennial herb rich in vitamins and minerals. 
In Indian cuisine, mint is used in chutneys, spicy curries and flavorful rice recipes.  Fresh leaves are particularly good in desserts, fruit salads, sauces and also as a refreshing tea, hot or iced.  Dry Pudina leaves are also used to some extent in Indian recipes, like Biryani.
mint or pudina
It was once used to treat hiccups and its soothing effect eases nausea and vomiting.  Today, mint plays a large role in medicine in the form of menthol.

Fenugreek (Trigonella)
Methi in Hindi.  Dry leaves known as Kasoori Methi are used as a herb, more commonly in North Indian Cuisine.  Fresh Fenugreek leaves, though slightly bitter are relished in the form of gravy curries and stir fry veggies.  Seeds are used as a spice in many spice mixes, particularly Sambar Powder of South Indian Cuisine.
methi or fenugreek leaves
Methi powder is taken as a medicine by diabetic patients as it lowers blood glucose levels.


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