Monday, May 31, 2010

Tulsi - Holy Basil

Thanks to those who participated in my little guessing game. Though Methi and Curry leaves are equally appreciated by Indians, the mystery plant which I was talking about yesterday was Holy Basil. So Mints, you got it right!

We call it "tuLas" in Marathi. It goes by the name "tulsi" in many Indian languages. There are two varieties of holy basil in India. One is with lighter green leaves and the other is dark, blackish/purplish green leaves. The first one is called "Ram TuLas" and the darker is called "Krishna TuLas" in Marathi. Holy basil has lots of religious significance in Hindu religion. Any offering (naivedya) or teerth is always anointed/garnished with a leaf of holy basil. It also has lots of medicinal properties.

I tried growing holy basil from seeds borrowed from friends and relatives. However, I didn't have much luck. I feel lucky that I found it in our farmers market. So far, the plant is still little. It does not have seeds yet(which we call Manjiri in Marathi).

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